Council spending on accommodating homeless families in England up 33% in past year, figures show

John Glenton, Executive Director of Riverside Care and Support, said: “It is very worrying to see spending on B&Bs and temporary accommodation rising significantly, but sadly not at all unexpected.

“The number of people living in temporary accommodation or facing homelessness is becoming a growing humanitarian crisis in England, particularly for families living together in single room B&Bs.

“Spending on temporary accommodation overall has risen 9% to £1.7bn and spending on B&Bs has risen by a third (33%) year-on-year to £492m, despite the problems that living in single room accommodation can cause for families.

“The longer-term trend is spending on temporary accommodation overall has more than doubled in seven years.

“However, we now have a government which says it is determined to take long-term decisions for a brighter future.

“We want the government to apply this logic of long-term decision making to the housing and homelessness crisis we now face.

“Becoming homeless can be devastating for people and families and also damaging for the finances of government and local government with Chelmsford City Council chief executive officer, Nick Eveleigh, warning earlier this year: ‘Many authorities across the country with hitherto strong financial management may face bankruptcy over the coming years.’

“If more funding was invested in building new social housing, homelessness prevention and tenancy sustainment we would reduce spending on temporary accommodation.

“This would deliver significant savings for the public purse and families themselves will also benefit by being able to rebuild their lives more quickly and more sustainably.”