December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
A strategy to deal with families who are homeless has been accepted by two councils.
The document, which was voted for by Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils, sets their priorities for the next five years.
They include helping households affected by the recent welfare reforms and increasing the supply of accommodation to people made homeless.
A review of the issue in the Mid Suffolk and Babergh areas found that the councils had placed 60 households in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the last financial year while permanent housing could be found.
The cost of this was more than £23,000, compared to just under £15,700 the previous year.
The deputy leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, Marilyn Curran, praised the authorities’ work.
She said: “It’s important that we are doing everything we can to prevent homelessness.
“We are trying everything we can and I think it’s what the team is working really hard on.
“I think this is a really important document.”
A survey found about 40% of people had been made homeless because they were asked to leave by family or friends.
The average time people have to wait to be placed into social housing in Babergh was 17 weeks. The corresponding figure in Mid Suffolk was 14.
The councils have a duty to provide housing advice and to respond to homelessness in their areas.
Council loans are available from the Homelessness Prevention Fund for people looking to privately rent.