Homeless placed in houses due to be demolished
A west London council is planning to house homeless families in blocks earmarked for demolition to avoid having to send people outside the borough.
Ealing Council is pushing ahead with a proposal to place homeless families currently languishing in bed and breakfast accommodation in 238 properties that are to be emptied and demolished ahead of the regeneration of its largest council estate, the South Acton Estate.
It hopes the move will save £2 million over two years and house 258 households, more than 200 of which are currently in B&B accommodation, for between 10 months and two years on unsecured tenancies.
Ealing will enter into a leasing arrangement with a registered provider that will let the properties out at a level of rent that is equal to the available subsidy for temporary accommodation. This will cover the cost of bringing properties up to the decent homes standard.
Homeless families will not be secure tenants and the accommodation will only be let on a short-term basis.
The council’s cabinet gave the plans the green light on Tuesday night.
In a report marked ‘urgent’ for the council’s cabinet, it warned the plan was necessary because the government’s housing benefit changes had resulted in less private rented sector accommodation being affordable, forcing the council to house families in B&Bs and outside London.
If the scheme is a success the council intends to roll it out to other estates across the borough.
The news follows the announcement from Waltham Forest Council on Monday that it had this week suspended plans to rehouse people long distances outside the borough because of a negative reaction from residents.
It had offered accommodation in 27 units it bought in Walsall, in the west midlands, but only let six of properties. The council is trying to find more accommodation in east London instead.