Don’t demonise

I WRITE in support of the action taken by Hastings Borough Council in securing emergency temporary accommodation for homeless households in St Leonards.

While the concerns of neighbours should be heard, several of the statements reported in the Observer (October 19) do not reflect well on the majority of residents of the town.

The demonisation of homeless people by a resident of Eisenhower Drive is particularly unbecoming. There is no evidence from any chartered surveyor body that property prices fall merely because people in housing need are accommodated in a nearby facility.

And to suggest that homeless men and women might vandalise a new car is particularly sad and reflects badly on the individual. Homeless people far more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators.

I was heartened, however, by the comment of another resident who said: “One of our friends recently had their homes repossessed and he needed emergency accommodation.”

He is right. Homelessness is happening to people from all classes and backgrounds. Hastings Borough Council should be applauded for its actions.

ANDY WINTER

Chief Executive

BHT Sussex

Renaissance House

London Road

St Leonards