THREE homeless people from Brighton and Hove are reported to have died after moving to Eastbourne.
Two were believed to have died from a drugs overdose and one of the deaths is a suspected suicide.
The deaths came to light as councillors discussed recently awarded government grants totalling almost £6.5 million to help Brighton and Hove City Council tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.
Yesterday the three deaths were mentioned as councillors touched on the “spot purchasing” of emergency and temporary housing in Eastbourne.
The council has placed more than 130 people there, prompting Caroline Ansell, the Conservative MP for Eastbourne, to raise the matter in the House of Commons last month.
Yesterday, Green councillor Alex Phillips told the council’s Housing Committee: “You could argue that those people may have died on the streets in Brighton but I am really concerned we are doing this.
“I know it is a last resort, but the consequences may be fatal for some individuals because of the lack of support structures they have in other areas.”
A senior council housing official Sylvia Peckham said that quite a few homeless people were now living outside Brighton and Hove because of the “sheer volume” in need of housing.
She said that welfare officers were visiting people in Eastbourne to ensure that they had the support that they needed.
After the meeting Councillor Phillips said that the council was trying to find better housing for many people and that some of them had complex needs and required “wraparound care”.
She said: “We should try to ensure that people who have links to Brighton stay in Brighton.
“We’re between a rock and a hard place. These aren’t easy decisions and they can have unintended consequences.
“It’s not just about four walls. We might think, ‘They’re housed. That’s it. Job done!’
“But it’s not always that simple.”