Rising rents in Blackpool put more people on the streets

The number of people losing their homes in Blackpool and forced into temporary accommodation is rising, according to new figures.
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Rising rents in the private sector, which makes up a large part of the housing market in the resort, are being partly blamed for the rise.

A report by Blackpool Council’s head of housing Vikki Piper says there are currently 128 households in the town living in temporary accommodation found for them by the council – up from 103 in November last year, and 80 the previous year.

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The rise is reflected in national figures which saw all forms of homelessness increase in England during 2022/23 – up 10 per cent with a record high of 104,510 households in temporary accommodation, 64,940 of which have children, as of April this year.

Rising rents mean more people are at risk of becoming homelessRising rents mean more people are at risk of becoming homeless
Rising rents mean more people are at risk of becoming homeless

Nationally, the average length of time spent in temporary accommodation for a family with children is between two and five years.

Ms Piper says in her report: “Blackpool is particularly impacted by the increases in homelessness as a result of PRS (private rented sector) accommodation ending due to our disproportionate levels of PRS stock.”

Being evicted from a private tenancy accounts for 63 per cent of homelessness in Blackpool compared to 38 per cent nationally.

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The report blames the increasing cost of rents for many people losing their homes despite the relative affordability of accommodation in Blackpool compared to other parts of the country.

New council houses at Grange ParkNew council houses at Grange Park
New council houses at Grange Park
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Ms Piper adds: “This makes it much more challenging to source new, affordable, accommodation for those who do become homeless.

“Although house prices and rents in Blackpool remain relatively low compared to some parts of the country, wages in Blackpool are also low, and often insecure, meaning it is also particularly difficult for many people to secure a mortgage.”

Only around a tenth of housing in Blackpool is social housing, including around 5,000 council houses – with 12,000 people registered on waiting lists for social housing.

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Action to boost affordable housing in the town includes construction currently underway of 131 new rented homes at Grange Park as part of a council-led scheme.

The council also has an arms-length company – the Blackpool Housing Company – which renovates rundown properties for affordable rent and which now has 669 properties on its books.