London council housing 70 families in ‘loophole'

  • It has been revealed that there are 70 homeless families being housed in temporary ‘annexe' accommodation by a London council.

    Westminster Council has been criticised due it housing families in temporary accommodation beypn the six week legal limit as well as being accused of using a ‘loophole' in the law by opposition councillors.  Global Financial Crisis Concept

    Whilst it is illegal to house families in B&Bs for more than six weeks, however there is no legal limit if the accommodation is "self-contained," meaning it has its own front door, reports Inside Housing.

    Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour group, said: "We believe that many of these hotel "annexes" are outside or at the edge of London but many families continue to take their children to school in Westminster and face long and exhausting journeys. They can make no plans as the council says that it has discharged its duty towards them by housing them in self-contained accommodation and they have no redress when they are left to languish in totally unsuitable accommodation for months and longer. It is time for the new housing minister to step and tell Westminster to act with humanity and decency rather than using a loophole in the law to dump over 70 families with children in unsuitable hotel bedrooms."

    Daniel Astaire, Westminster City Council cabinet member for business and housing, said: "The number of families living in B&Bs in Westminster for over six weeks remains at zero.  Every effort is made to house people, whether in temporary or permanent accommodation according to need and availability.  The council will continue to work very hard in finding permanent solutions for families requiring housing, including searching for adequate properties inside and outside of the city itself."

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