Plans to cut spending on homeless services in Waltham Forest by £1 million could lead to a rise in rough sleepers in the borough, a charity has warned.

Waltham Forest council is set to slash its budget for services for single homeless people by £996,000 per year.

London-wide charity, SHP, which has provided support for homeless people for the past 35 years, claims cuts will reduce the number of supported housing beds in the borough from 147 to 27.

The charity’s chief executive, Liz Rutherfoord, said there were particular concerns over the closure of Wardley Lodge, a 23-bed hostel for homeless people with complex issues in Leytonstone.

She added: “Wardley Lodge plays a critical role in the borough’s strategy to sustain a reduction in rough sleeping and I can’t see how a closure won’t result in a rise in street homelessness.

“Even if all existing residents are rehoused with the right support, where will those who follow after go?”

Under Waltham Forest council plans, which are set to be approved at a meeting next Thursday (May 26), single homeless people will be referred to an ‘advice hub’ where they can access information.

However, SHP fears this will leave a gap in provision for those with the most complex needs, such as drug and alcohol dependency or mental health problems.

Darren, 32, has been a resident of Wardley Lodge since April 2015. He was evicted from his Housing Association flat in February 2012 and spent three years living on the streets.

He said: “When I was referred to Wardley Lodge, I was suffering from depression and stress and I was drinking heavily.

“I’ve now completed a detox, and have been abstinent since March, which is the longest time in five years.

“Without Wardley Lodge, I might still be on the street and would definitely still be drinking. This place has given me stability and hope for the future, and now it’s being taken away.”

A head count in autumn last year found 33 people sleeping on the streets in Waltham Forest, up from just three in 2013.

The borough was also recently listed in the top 20 local authorities in the country for rough sleeping.

Waltham Forest council has been contacted for comment.