Homeless Man Freezes To Death On Doorstep Of Empty Bungalow
A report by Chris Hunter of Kent Online highlights the ridiculous nature of the government’s approach to homelessness.
A 35 year old homeless man, Daniel Gauntlett, was found dead having frozen to death on the doorstep of an empty bungalow that was due to be bulldozed.
The report states:
Police had reportedly been called previously after he tried to break into the bungalow. And so Mr Gauntlett, had taken the fatal decision to abide by the law.
Derek Bailey, 80, who lives next door, said Mr Gauntlett had not appeared to be in ill health.
“They took him up to the hospital about a fortnight before when they’d found him and social workers got involved,” said Mr Bailey.
“It was just the bitter weather. I know a lot about cold weather because I was in the Canadian army. I’ve known it drop to minus 70 but the trouble with this country is the dampness.”
Over 50,000 people are homeless in the UK, and that number is increasing.
In July, figures released by SSentif showed the number of homeless people rose by 25% in the last three years.
There are approximately 710,000 empty homes in the UK – enough to house a million people.
Although housing charities like Shelter can provide help and advice to people effected by homelessness, it’s painfully clear that the government attitude towards homelessness has contributed towards the problem.
Changes to housing benefit is also a cause for concern.
In Febuary, shadow housing minister, Jack Dromey, has criticised the Coalition’s record on homelessness, warning the UK is:
“Facing the biggest housing crisis in a generation.”
He also said:
“The Government was warned its policies risked increasing homelessness and rough sleeping but these warnings fell on deaf ears. What we are seeing now are the consequences of this Government’s failure, homeless people huddled in shop doorways and sleeping on freezing winter streets.
“Homelessness is rising — partly due to a shortage of housing but also due to factors such as the bedroom tax and the increasingly harsh way people on benefits are being treated generally.
“People are having their benefits stopped for different reasons and can’t afford the rent. Also, people are going to be paid their housing benefit directly and will then have to hand it to landlords.
“There are real concerns that some tenants will be unable to budget and then left with no money to pay rent.
“The shortage of affordable housing will worsen what is already happening.”