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As winter starts to bite, emergency accommodation needed for Bristolians living on the streets

Green Councillors are tabling a motion to Full Council on Tuesday 15th December calling for emergency action to help those living on the streets this winter.

The motion calls on the council to look into opening up emergency accommodation in empty buildings across the city in conjunction with support agencies, increase support to specialist providers and ensuring that support is also available to help people move into more stable accommodation.

The motion comes to a December council meeting that will also debate a petition signed by over 12,000 people calling on the council to open empty buildings and a discussion on Bristol’s new housing strategy.

Leader of the Green councillors, Ani Stafford-Townsend said:

“The numbers of families facing homelessness in Bristol has more than trebled in the past year and we urgently need to increase support to the organisations helping homeless people on the streets this winter.”

Tony Dyer, Green mayoral candidate said:

"Poorly thought out government policy continues to make it extremely difficult for cities like Bristol to house an ever increasing proportion of its citizens. Continuing attacks on family incomes, withdrawal of needed financial support (especially for the young) and yet more cuts to public services has inevitably resulted in a further rise in rough sleeping and in the need to rehouse Bristol families facing homelessness. With the government committed to further cuts there are some difficult decisions to be made, but if we can afford to provide a home for Concorde, surely we can afford to provide a home for those Bristolians facing winter sleeping on the streets?"

Councillor Stafford-Townsend continued:

“More short term accommodation options are needed, which is why we are asking the council to look into using empty buildings across the city. Longer term support and additional funding are also crucial though. Rough sleepers need support to move on to secure accommodation and help with tacking the underlying problems that have led to them sleeping in doorways on freezing winter nights.”



"Man sleeping on Canadian sidewalk" by The Blackbird (Jay Black) - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

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