SUNDERLAND is leading the way in the fight against homelessness.
The North East is the only region in the country to see a reduction in homeless households in the last three years.
The figures, released by data management firm SSentif Intelligence, show that Sunderland has halved the amount of homeless households – where one or more people in a home have been left without somewhere to live – during the last three years.
From 2009/2010 there were 166 homeless households in the city. In 2010/2011 there were 168, but by 2011/2012, the figure had dropped to just 82.
It shows there was a 51.19 per cent reduction in the last year, and a 50.60 per cent drop over the three year period.
Councillor Graeme Miller, portfolio holder for health, housing and adult services at Sunderland City Council, said fighting homelessness has been an important goal.
“We have targeted the prevention of homelessness as a real priority over recent years and as the figures show, this has resulted in some real successes,” he said. “By attempting to identify cases at the earliest possible opportunity, the number of people who have had to be accepted as homeless is at an all-time low.
“There is now a strong partnership approach with other local authorities in the region.
“However, it is important that we don’t rest on our laurels. With the current economic challenges that everyone is faced with, it is still imperative that if anyone feels that they are at risk of becoming homeless, they contact the council as soon as they can on 0800 731 2963.”
Across the North East there was a 10.45 per cent reduction over the three years, with figures falling from 2,010 in 2009/2010 to 1,860 in 2010/2011 and 1,800 in 2011/2012.
The highest percentage increase was in the East of England where there was a 43.99 per cent increase over the last three years.