A leading think tank has called for a new approach to the hidden problem of rural homelessness, including local forums, community hubs and new types of emergency accommodation. The report by the IPPR, which was commissioned by the Hastoe Group housing association, found more than 6,000 households in rural areas became homeless last year. The report recommends local authorities set up community homelessness hubs, which can offer help and advice to those at risk of becoming or experiencing homelessness. It cites the example of the Freedom Centre in north Devon, which offers free hot meals, showers and other facilities, including internet access. North Devon council has an office at the centre, which, the report says, helps to strengthen the links between the local authority and local voluntary sector organisations. ‘This enables households at risk of, or experiencing homelessness to be easily signposted to local authority services without having to face … (To read the full article, subscribe below)


Jamie Hailstone is senior reporter – NewStart