Councillors call for more homeless accommodation

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Two community support officers chat with a homeless man who had spent the night sleeping outside Boots in Bridge Street, Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson

Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for new homeless accommodation to be provided in Stratford.

A motion, to be put forward by Cllr Peter Moorse and Cllr Kate Rolfe at Monday’s cabinet meeting, urges the council to consider using some of the £1million it recently received from Orbit for the sale of garages in the district, to pay for more accommodation.

Cllr Moorse said: “The number of people coming forward and presenting themselves as homeless to the council is increasing. Some of these are families who are being put up in B&B accommodation, which is a dreadful situation for them to be in.

“From a financial perspective accommodating people in B&Bs is driving the council well over budget. Ideally the accommodation we are calling for should be in the form of flats or houses as opposed to a hostel.

“The district’s homeless problem is quite broad and does affect different groups of people so we would still like the establishment of a homeless hostel to be investigated too using this money.”

It is not the first time Liberal Democrat councillors have called for more action to increase homeless accommodation.

Earlier this year party members pleaded with the council to consider funding investigations into the possibility of a new homeless hostel being built in the town.

The request was refused, but the Herald was later told by council officers that work was underway to build a business case for a new supported housing scheme for the town’s homeless.

Last month the Herald reported that the council was expecting to exceed its original budget for helping those who present themselves to the authority as homeless, by £450,000 by the end of the financial year.

Recent changes to the benefit system has been given as one of the reasons for the increase in homelessness.

Last month Cllr Peter Richards, portfolio holder for housing and infrastructure, explained that the increase reflected the picture nationally.

Part of the reason the council is due to spend more than expected tackling homelessness is that extra staff have been employed to process homeless applications to the authority more quickly.

 

  • SFX2017

    So the Lib dems want halfway houses? why not go the full hog and get some work houses built to stick them all in.
    More money on housing isn’t the answer. these people have families and they should be obligated to help them out..

  • Lou Cifer

    the situation outside pounland/sainsburys is ridiculous, old bill to scared to do anything

    • SFX2017

      Not scared I watched two coppers blindly walk past them on Saturday. I guess its a paper work issue.

  • Centre Parting

    Don’t Lib Dumbs have spare rooms they could rent out at below market rates?