The number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Hastings rose to its highest number on record in 2017, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
The figures revealed a total of 40 people sleeping rough on the town’s streets during autumn 2017 – up 53.8 per cent on last year’s autumn figure of 26.
According to the figures released on Thursday (January 25), a total of three people were sleeping rough in Hastings during autumn 2010 meaning there has been an increased rate of 1,233 per cent in seven years.
This year’s figures also show almost one (0.94) in every 1,000 households in Hastings was sleeping rough during autumn 2017, above the national rate of 0.2 rough sleepers to every 1,000 households.
In the South East region, 0.3 out of every 1,000 households were sleeping rough in the same time period.
The figures were compiled by counting the number of people sleeping outside and do not take into account squatters or those in hostels.
These statistics come just one month after three rough sleepers died on the streets of Hastings between Christmas 2017 and New Year.
Police said a 41-year-old woman, a 56-year-old man and a 52-year-old man, all of no fixed address, died between December 26 and December 31.
Following the news, Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd committed to working with local councils to help eliminate rough sleeping.
On January 4, she said: “It is a tragedy when someone dies on the streets and this Government is taking action to make life on the streets a thing of the past.
“The Government has allocated over £380,000 to Rother and over £970,000 to Hastings between 2017 and 2019 through the flexible homelessness support grant to help our local authorities to fund a range of homelessness services.
“For the UK as a whole, the Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027. I will work with local councils and charities to help deliver this commitment in Hastings and Rye.”