800% rise in councils housing homeless in B&Bs

mark at tlio.org.uk mark at tlio.org.uk
Tue Feb 19 10:40:14 GMT 2013

Tories lead hall of shame for illegal housing of homeless
by Tony Patey, The Morning Star
Monday 18 February 2013

Tory-run councils are top of the list for local authorities using bed 
and breakfasts to house homeless families beyond the legal time limit, 
with such incidences increasing ninefold since the Con-Dems came to 

New figures today exposed the 800 per cent increase and revealed over 
a third of the country's councils are unlawfully placing adults and 
children in B&Bs for more than six weeks.

Freedom of information requests by Labour to England's 325 councils - 
with 242 responding - showed that 125 authorities had resorted to 
putting destitute families in hotel rooms for six weeks or more since 
April 2010.

The information blows out of the water claims by ministers that only a 
small number of town halls put families in bed and breakfast 
accommodation beyond the legal limit.

Charities say that the reason for the ninefold increase is a 
combination of welfare cuts and lack of affordable social housing - 
and even the councils themselves have had to admit it.

Taxpayers have to cough up for homeless families staying in hotels and 
guest houses, which is meant to be a short-term solution to their 
problems while they wait to get the keys to council properties.

Of the 125 local authorities that responded to Labour's requests over 
half - 54 per cent - were Tory-run, with 35 per cent Labour.

Last week it came to light that the Tory flagship London borough of 
Westminster is spending almost £85,000 a week housing families in 10 
West End hotels.

The council was forking out £22,500 a week to the Central Park hotel 
and more than £17,000 a week to the Copthorne Tara hotel in 

Labour shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said: "The government's 
housing and economic policies are failing and families with children 
are paying the price.

"Affordable house building has collapsed, rents are soaring and their 
ill-thought-through benefit changes are driving up homelessness.

"But the government's policies are not just causing desperate hardship 
for those affected, they're costing taxpayers millions of pounds every 

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