Rise in Doncaster tenants being placed in B&B accommodation by authorities

Housing services have a duty to provide residents with emergency housing if theyhave reason to believe they may be homeless or have a priority need for housing.
Housing services have a duty to provide residents with emergency housing if theyhave reason to believe they may be homeless or have a priority need for housing.

New figures show a rise in Doncaster residents being placed in bed and breakfast accommodation due to crisis in housing.

New figures show a rise in Doncaster residents being placed in bed and breakfast accommodation due to crisis in housing.

A report seen by councillors show St Leger Homes placed 60 households into B&B lodges and hotels between April and June of this year - an increase of 53 per cent when comparing January to March.

In the same period, 21 households with children were placed in B&Bs up from 13 in the previous recorded period.

Other figures show the total number of nights people are staying in B&Bs has increased to 384 during April to June from 80 between January and March - a 79 per cent rise.

St Leger Homes, an 'arms length' organisation which runs Doncaster Council's housing services, has a duty to provide residents with emergency housing if they have reason to believe they may be homeless or have a priority need for housing.

Housing bosses said a 'lack of appropriate accommodation' and changes to legislation has increased B&B use.

B&Bs are only used when there is 'no alternative appropriate accommodation option'. It's unlawful for a council to keep people in a B&B for more than six weeks if someone is pregnant or have children living with them.

People who fall into rent areas in the private sector and those who have been evicted from their home by a landlord are the common cases.

Stephen Thorlby-Coy, head of business excellence at St. Leger Homes of Doncaster, said: "Changes in legislation through the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act has resulted in increased duties to support individuals, including the provision of temporary accommodation whilst trying to prevent someone’s homelessness.

"The lack of appropriate supported accommodation into which to place often complex individuals is one of the main reasons for placements into B&B.

"B&B is only used where there is no alternative appropriate accommodation option."

Other figures show a decrease in 'full duty homelessness acceptances'.

St Leger Homes stats show there were 41 cases between April and June, against a cumulative year-end target of 315.

The number of homelessness approaches has also reduced by 17 per cent compared to the same point last year. The number of homelessness prevention cases has increased by 84 per cent, as St Leger 'begin to see the impact' of the new legislation.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has placed new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness will have access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status.