The UK spends £2bn housing homeless families in short-term accommodation

  • Official studies and figures of experts on Britain's housing crisis depict that increasing number of households have been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation, hostels and shelters. The UK is spending about £2bn, housing vulnerable families in these accommodations.

    The Chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, Leslie Morphy, said...

    "For the sake of cutting just a few pounds a week from their benefits, families and individuals are being forced out of their homes to be put in B&B's or temporary accommodation, that costs us far more."

    In London alone, more people are expected to become homeless due to the fact that 7,000 families who depend on benefits risk losing over £100 in a week.

    The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in its four-month study, came to a conclusion that £1.88bn has been spent on the rent of temporary accomodations for over four years; and about 32,643 homeless families have been rehoused out of their borough since 2009.

    £464m was spent  on temporary accommodation for 12 of Britain's biggest cities last year and London councils have bugeted for further rise this financial year.

    On Sunday night, Mark Prisk, the housing minister dwelt on the clarity of the law as to the responsibility of councils to put peoples'  jobs and schools into consideration when securing homes for those in need, he also asserted that councils should be careful about puting families in B&B's far from their home borough.

    "Recent government figures show that there were 53,130 households living in temporary accommodation at the end of 2012- 9% higher than the previous year..."

    Due to the shortage of of appropriate temporary accomodation, it is believed that a third of British local authorities are in breach of the limit of 6 weeks of keeping families in B&B .

    A leading law firm is responding to this by preparing a class action against councils for breach of statutes for those who keep families in B&B's for longer than the statutory maximum.

    London councils have secured 5,827 properties and B&B rooms in  Enfield, Waltham Forest and Haringey alone within over 4 years. However, Newham, in east London seems to suffer the most homelessness depite spending £185.2m to placing people in temporary accommodation since 2009.

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Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful.  I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9.  In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd


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