£3m Spent on Housing Homeless in Hotels

  • Westminster City Council has spent over £3 million on temporary accommodation for homeless people in six months.

    This is because they have had to house people in expensive hotels while waiting for accommodation to become available.

    Westminster City Council has the most homeless families in temporary accommodation of all London councils.Coins

     Between October 2012 and March 2013, this service became so overloaded that they had to use expensive hotels to house people while waiting for accommodation to become available.

    In February, the cost had reached £2 million and in December 2012, Westminster was going over the six-week limit for families to be kept in temporary accommodation, as were several other London councils.

    The council say the reason for this is an increase in need which is largely due to changes in housing benefit caps and welfare reforms, meaning they do not have the accommodation available for the number of people now needing the service.

    Councillor for the area Jonathan Glanz said:

    The changes to housing benefit caps in particular, and the changes to welfare reforms, have meant that we have seen a huge increase in the number of people that are presenting as homeless.

    Although we have been redoubling our efforts to ensure that we have more and better self-contained accommodation for people, inevitably the sheer numbers of people that have come along have meant that we haven't been able to accommodate them all.

    Housing minister Mark Prisk said:

    It cannot make sense to pay more for housing a family in one room than it would cost to house them in suitable self-contained accommodation.

     Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1176741

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