Improving accommodation for homeless

Bassetlaw District Council is working to improve the way it provides temporary and emergency accommodation for families and individuals who become homeless.

The Council, in partnership with A1 Housing, has created two properties in Bassetlaw for families and individuals who become homeless and do not have a place to stay.

Under the current Housing and Homeless legislation, the Council has a statutory obligation to provide advice and assistance to households who are threatened with losing their home or become homeless, and who are eligible and in priority need.

Where this legislation applies, the Council’s obligation is met by placing individuals and families into ‘Bed and Breakfast’ accommodation, which is not always suitable or appropriate for the people concerned, and can be extremely expensive.

These two new properties will provide a safer and more stable temporary environment for families and individuals, especially those who are vulnerable or fleeing domestic abuse.

Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Providing the right type of accommodation for families in desperate need of a roof over their head, or secure accommodation if they are vulnerable, is crucial.

“These new properties will provide a safe, warm and comfortable place to stay until more permanent accommodation can be found. In addition, they will provide a more stable family life during this very stressful time.”

The Homeless Reduction Act is due to become law in April 2018; this means that those facing homelessness will qualify for assistance from the Council for up to 56 days, instead of the current 28 days. This move is expected to greatly increase the need for temporary accommodation and, when combined with the roll-out of Universal Credit, will place additional pressure on the emergency accommodation the Council is obliged to provide.

Cllr Scotthorne added: “The future threat of homelessness to young families and individuals is very real and it is essential that the Council acts now. By providing this type of temporary accommodation it will also help people to access additional support services and may in turn increase the likelihood of a sustainable tenancy going forward.”

The Council has initially established two properties that will provide temporary emergency accommodation, but will be monitoring the success of this provision and could deliver additional temporary housing in the future.

Published: Monday 06 November 2017