Woman forced to spend night on streets after fleeing sex-for-rent arrangement

A woman recently spent the night on the streets after being asked to offer sexual favours instead of rent.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 10:35 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 10:36 am

The woman, who is now being supported by Castleford-based charity The Career Cabin, became homeless after leaving a male friend's house in the middle of the night.

Local councillors and NHS professionals were told of the story at a public meeting on Thursday, during a discussion about the health of some of the Wakefield district's most vulnerable people.

The charity's managing director, Rachel McKimm, told the meeting that the woman "felt unsafe", after he'd asked for sex instead of cash to stay in his house.

It came just weeks after she'd been evicted from her previous house because she was unable to pay the rent.

Career's Cabin, which was set up in Castleford in 2017, was praised by councillors for its work in helping local people improve their employability skills.

Many of those the charity supports have suffered homelessness and long-term unemployment.

Nationwide homeless charity Centrepoint, said more than a quarter of young women who'd experienced homelessness had been forced to stay with a stranger.

Paul Noblet, the organisation's head of public affairs, said: "It is unacceptable in 2020 that any young person should find themselves in this desperate situation.

"This is an issue that highlights once again the stark lack of affordable homes in many areas of the country.

"The government must urgently follow through on its election promises to build more affordable homes, and end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.”

Castleford Central councillor Richard Forster said he wanted the local authority to work more with letting agents, to stop vulnerable people falling through cracks in the system.

He said too many people renting from the private sector were being evicted as soon as they fall behind with their monthly payments.

He told the meeting: "What we need to be looking at is how we work with the letting agents so that if there's a problem with their tenancy, then we (the council) can do something about it.

"If the tenants start not being able to pay the rent, then the letting agents negotiate with the landlords, and then the next thing you know it's eviction.

"Those who fall into rent arrears may not touch our services at all.

"They need help before they get to crisis point."

Local Democracy Reporting Service