THERE has been a sharp rise in the number of homeless people dying in Coventry since 2013, new figures reveal.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today released data on the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales at local authority level in every year from 2013 to 2017.
Coventry saw nine estimated deaths in 2017 which had risen from only two in 2014 and one in 2015.
This is the 15th highest of the 156 local authorities which recorded deaths.
The ONS in December revealed a 24 per cent increase in the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in the last five years.
Now the figures have been broken down to regional levels and, in total, at least 19 people are estimated to have died without a home in the city since 2013.
The ONS included in the analysis those sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation like bed and breakfasts and hotels.
Chief executive of homelessness charity Coventry Cyrenians Mike Fowler said: “A few weeks ago the government’s own statistics showed a threefold increase in rough sleeping in Coventry and now we see an sharp increase in the number of premature deaths among homeless people.
“Research shows that people living on the streets have an average life expectancy of just 47 years of age.
“Unfortunately, successive governments have paid lip service to this appalling situation whilst if this was any other group of people in society this would be considered a national emergency.
“Homelessness needs to be seen as a priority, not an afterthought.”
From April to December last year, the council spent over £3million more than its £2.7million budget supporting families and individuals in temporary and supported accommodation – reflecting increasing homelessness in the city.
Salvation Army figures show the number of registered homeless individuals has almost doubled in the city since 2014/15, rising from 581 to 1,059.
There were 150 registered homeless families in 2014/15 and this number has more than tripled in three years to 484, a council report states.
It shows there are nearly 150 homeless families with more than three children, 41 with more than four and 31 with more than five.
In other estimates, homelessness charity Shelter claimed the number of homeless children in Coventry has increased by about eight times in five years.
The analysis showed there were nearly 600 children that spent Christmas in temporary accommodation in the city.
This number has risen from only 78 in the first part of 2013.
Latest government figures show there are 25 people sleeping on city streets on any given night, nearly triple the number there was in 2017.
The newly released figures also show rough sleeping has more than tripled in the West Midlands since 2010 – with 182 rough sleepers in 2010, compared with 420 now.
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