Latest Public Sector News

04.11.13

More families living in B&Bs, Shelter finds

Over 2,000 homeless families are living in B&Bs – an increase of 8% from 2012, according to government figures. Shelter has warned that children’s health can suffer living in such accommodation, which is meant to only be temporary.

At the end of June, 790 families had been living in B&Bs for longer than the six-week legal limit. Interviews with 25 families living in such accommodation, or who recently had been, found that most felt unsafe, Shelter reported.

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, said: “Our shocking findings have uncovered the shameful conditions homeless children will be living in this Christmas. Parents and children sharing beds, children forced to eat on the floor and being threatened with violence in the place they live. This shouldn't be happening in 21st-century Britain.”

Housing minister Kris Hopkins, said: “We've given councils nearly £1bn to tackle homelessness and to support people affected by the welfare reforms, so I am very clear that they should be fully able to meet their legal responsibility to house families in suitable accommodation.

“Families should only be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation in an emergency, and even then for no more than six weeks. The funding we've given, and our change in the law to enable families to be placed in suitable, affordable private rented homes, means there is no excuse for councils to breach this.”

The LGA’s Cllr Mike Jones said: “Shelter's report highlights why house building needs to be a national priority”.

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