Number of families in B&Bs triples
The number of families and pregnant women in bed and breakfast accommodation tripled in a year from 2010 to the end of last year.
Communities and Local Government department figures on households in temporary accommodation were released after a written question from Westminster North MP Karen Buck this month.
It shows the number of families and pregnant women in B&Bs went up from 150 in the last quarter of 2010 to 450 in the last quarter of 2011.
Ms Buck said: ‘It’s deeply depressing that families and children are once more being forced to spend months in unsuitable and expensive B&B accommodation. This is a marked result of government policy, especially in relation to housing benefit.’
This comes shortly after Inside Housing revealed housing minister Grant Shapps wrote to 20 English councils warning them not to place families in temporary accommodation.
In his answer to the written question, he says: ‘I have written to 20 local authorities who between them account for almost 80 per cent of families in bed and breakfast for more than six weeks, reiterating the government’s position that this practice is unacceptable, urging them to prioritise elimination of the use of long term bed and breakfast accommodation for families, and offering support from my department to do so.’
Councils told Inside Housing they did not want to house people in bed and breakfast accommodation but current pressures on them to house growing numbers of homeless people sometimes made it difficult to avoid.
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