Councils condemned for forcing homeless into B&Bs

  • Ministers have slammed councils for forcing more and more homeless families into Bed and Breakfast hotels for unlawfully long periods, following a BBC investigating.

    The BBC's Newsnight report claimed councils are increasingly forced into keeping parents and children in B&Bs for more than the government-imposed legal limit of six weeks, as councils struggle to find rented accommodation for them.

    The programme even found evidence some families were staying in difficult, overcrowded and even dirty conditions in some of the hotels.

    A Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said:

    It is unacceptable and avoidable to place families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than a few days. The vast majority of councils fulfil their legal duty without having families stuck in B&B for over six weeks.

    We are providing £400m to tackle homelessness over the spending period and councils are receiving a further £450m over this period for discretionary housing payments and to help to ease the transition of changes to the new, fairer, system of benefits.

    Former housing minister Grant Shapps was forced to censure councils at the end of 2011 after 427 families were found to have been living in emergency accommodation for longer than six weeks. Mr Shapps also warned 20 councils earlier this year to improve their provisions for the homeless.

    Croydon LBC were found to have spent £1.5m in the first seven months of this year on one hotel chain alone.

    Housing lawyer, Jane Pritchard, is threatening to take Croydon LBC to court to force it to move long-stay families out of B&Bs:

    The law provides that when you are in B&Bs as a homeless applicant and you have children with you or you are pregnant, the council should not provide you with B&B unless it's in exceptional circumstances and even then for a maximum of six weeks.

    So the minute Croydon Council put someone in a B&B and are not positively looking for an alternative for them, they are acting unlawfully.

    The BBC claim Croydon LBC has at least 180 long-stay B&B families, and suggest the figure could be even higher than official figures suggest.

    Croydon's chief executive, Jon Rouse, rejected the accusations, saying:

    We are concerned. But we are behaving legally. We review all cases on an ongoing basis and clearly aw we're coming up to that six week threshold, we're particularly concerned to see if we can identify alternative for those individual households.

    The problem is the lack of availability of private rental dwellings. The introduction of caps on the local housing allowance rates means less private rented stock is available to people on benefits.

    The second problem is that people who would have moved on from the private rented sector to buy their own home, haven't done so. And so again that causes a lack of availability at the lower end of the housing ladder.

     

    Source: Local Gov

    /images/Blogging.jpg

    /images/blog/support_solutions.gif

     

    <!-- BEGIN WebSTAT Activation Code --> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="http://hv3.webstat.com/cgi-bin/wsv2.cgi?66409"></script> <noscript> <a href=

Related articles

  • Read More

    New service to support homeless people in Birmingham

    A new dedicated Homeless Street Triage car will be responding to the rising number of calls reporting homelessness, begging and anti-social drinking in the city, reports 24dash.In the last year –...

  • Read More

    Gym in Kent hopes to improve health and fitness of homeless people

    Riverside is a specialist in working with single homeless people to help them get their lives back on track and into accommodation. Their new project, a gymnasium, has been funded by the Riverside...

  • Read More

    The cost of homelessness in Hackney doubles

    Figures have shown that the cost of homelessness in 2009/10 was £3,092,255 compared to £7,167,440 in 2014/15, with a cut on staff spending from £3,239,653 to £2,608,491 reports 24dash.Hackney...

  • Read More

    Two homelessness services to be investigated

    The Scottish Housing Regulator is set to investigate every aspect of services offered by Dumfries and Galloway Council, whilst also examining how homeless people access help and support at Scottish...

  • Read More

    Homeless project for young people under threat due to cuts

    Platform for Life was expected to attract interest from numerous housing associations with its scheme to convert properties into accommodation for young people in further education, training or work,...

  • Read More

    Charities warns Irish government of homelessness crisis

    Social Justice Ireland is calling for a new funding system that will meet the demand and reveal that only 20 council homes for families have been completed within the first three months of this year,...

  • Read More

    Newspaper office to become a centre for homeless people

    The old office for the Doncaster Free Press is being transformed into flats and other facilities for people who are homeless, reports Hold the Front Page. The building is being turned into...

  • Read More

    Cuts leaving people in Cheltenham needing homelessness support

    Bosses at CCP and Cheltenham Borough Council have said the “devastating impact” of benefit cuts in the town are causing issues for many people, report the Gloucestershire Echo.Over the past few...

  • Read More

    Concern that homelessness in Cambridge is at ‘tipping point’

    Not only do figures show a rise in quarterly numbers by 24 households, they also reveal that over 350 cases were placed in temporary accommodation over the last year, which was a rise of 50 cases on...

  • Read More

    Charities say Wales is “setting an example” for homelessness

    A joint report by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has praised Welsh laws that are trying to address the issues of homelessness, reports the BBC.However they warn that the removal of...

How to fund Housing Support and Social Care Services "Alot of information in a short time, good for me because I travelled a long way. So I feel the journey was worthwhile." C.T - People First Dorset

 

Briefing Signup

 
Quick Contact

Quick contact

Close

Contact us

T 0333 332 1991 (Local rate)

E info@supportsolutions.co.uk