Millions of pounds spent on temporary housing for homeless in Doncaster – as councils call for support
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All of this was covered by the council.
On Monday a group of council leaders sent a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, urging him to raise local housing allowances and provide £300m in discretionary housing payments by March 2025.
Councillor Hannah Dalton, the District Councils’ Network housing spokesperson, said: "The fact that 119 council leaders from all political groups have joined up to demand urgent action from the Chancellor on homelessness demonstrates that we are in an emergency situation, right across the country.
"Councils simply do not have the money to cope with this surge of demand for temporary accommodation and without action from Jeremy Hunt they will have no option but to cut services."
"Such is the scale of the problem that some councils will find themselves effectively bankrupt," she warned.
Shelter, a homelessness charity, has blamed the freezing of the housing benefit combined with "decades of failure" in housing policy for the growing cost of temporary accommodation to councils.
Polly Neate, chief executive of the charity, said: "We simply can’t keep throwing money at grim B&Bs and hostels instead of focusing on helping families into a home."
"With a general election on the horizon, no one can afford to continue to ignore a crisis of this magnitude."
In Doncaster, all £2,046,000 was spent on bed and breakfasts.
Ms Neate continued: "As an immediate solution, it’s vital the Government uses the Autumn Statement to unfreeze housing benefit, so it does what it’s meant to do: stop people on low incomes from becoming homeless."
She cautioned "the only lasting solution to the housing emergency" is investment in affordable social housing, with prices pegged to local incomes.
Across England, £1.7 billion was spent on temporary accommodation in 2022-23.
Figures from the end of March show more than 104,000 households were living in temporary accommodation across England.
Nearly two-thirds of these households were families with children.