Dealing with homelessness across Doncaster through the pandemic ‘extremely challenging’ and is ‘still problematic’
Dealing with homelessness across Doncaster through the Covid-19 pandemic has been ‘extremely challenging’ and is still ‘problematic’, a senior councillor has said.
Deputy mayor councillor Glyn Jones, whose portfolio covers housing, made the admission during a recent cabinet meeting in Civic Office.
Latest figures published by St Leger Homes show the number of people who had to be put in hotel-style accommodation between January and March 2021 increased in the previous quarter.
Stats show 245 households were placed into hotels and bed and breakfasts – an increase from 209 and the number of nights in alternative accommodation rocketed from 5,060 nights to 10,696 – a rise of 53 per cent.
Housing bosses said the service continued to be ‘extremely busy’ with the number of placements remaining high during March.
They added the number placed in hotels at the end of the financial year higher than the NSAP (Next Steps Accommodation Programme) Action Plan target of 50 and ‘reflects the impact of further Covid-19 restrictions being applied nationally.
St Leger also contributed to the council’s successful bid to the Government resources which included a planned reduction of households in hotels.
Coun Jones said: “Looking at key performance indicators which cover the area of homelessness, performance in these areas have been extremely challenging and this is still problematic.
“Considerable work is taking place right across the homelessness partnership to address the increasing demand for support.
“We are starting to see these figures reduce from the highs experienced in the winter months.”
St Leger and the council also said they prevented 604 households from becoming homeless which was down on the previous year of 965.
Housing bosses said this ‘reflects the impact of the pandemic’ and the suspension of evictions resulting in the reason for homelessness; for the majority of cases, being with little or no prior notice and limited opportunity to prevent homelessness.
An example given was someone being asked to leave by friends/family or a relationship breakdown as well as fleeing violence.