Leeds homeless tent city to be scrapped after council find homes for people

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A homeless camp of more than 20 tents in a Leeds city centre car park will be taken down on Thursday.

The campsite will be removed after Leeds City Council worked to find housing for people and the organiser agreed that the encampment had run its course.

Leeds homeless tent city to be scrapped after council find homes for people

Leeds homeless tent city to be scrapped after council find homes for people

Leeds City Council have confirmed that there has been no direct action by the authority to move it.

Mr David Hedley, said: "We are hoping to have everything wrapped up by Thursday.

"It's been amazing and worked like a treat. We have 17 people who have been moved into accommodation - eight permanently and eight in temporary, but they are being assessed by the council this week.

"By working with the council and the police we have halved the homeless population in Leeds and we will continue working with them in the future."

Speaking to the YEP when the camp was erected last week, Mr Hedley insisted it was a humanitarian camp - not a protest.

A Leeds Council spokesperson stated that there is no direct council backing for any tent city in Leeds but they have been liaising with Mr Hedley.

They have confirmed at least ten people have been placed into temporary accommodation or re-directed and supported back to existing property.

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Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for communities, said the council will never encourage people to sleep in the streets but are fully committed to working with all legal and ethical grassroots organisations to reduce the number of rough sleepers.

She added that there is no need for people to sleep rough in Leeds as there is a significant level of support available.

Coun Coupar said: "“We remain completely committed to all people who are sleeping rough by approaching the issue with a team of professionals from a range of public and third sector organisations who have the skills, knowledge and resources to work with those requiring support including housing solutions.

“We want to ensure that nobody is sleeping in tents, particularly in this cold weather, and have been pleased that the organisers have worked with us to provide help to those who need it. This has included providing housing for a number of rough sleepers over the last week under our housing-first programme."

In 2016 a 'Tent City' grew up on the same patch of land after its residents were moved on from Victoria Gardens, in front of Leeds Art Gallery. The tents remained for around a month before the camp was closed down.

The number of people sleeping rough in Leeds has risen again according to government statistics released last week.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released today evaluates the extent of rough sleeping in England and provides information based one single night survey of the numbers of people rough sleeping.

Statistics show that in 2010, six people were sleeping rough in Leeds, but this number grew year on year. By 2018, data shows 33 people sleeping rough in the city, five times the number in 2010.

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