[Hpn] Homeless families still spending too long in bed-and-breakfasts

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 14:35:15 -0500


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Homeless families still spending too long in bed-and-breakfasts

By Jack Blanchard

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/wnnewslatest/display.var.1991162.0.ho=
meless_families_still_spending_too_long_in_bedandbreakfasts.php

HOMELESS families in Worcester are still being forced to live in =
bed-and-breakfast accommodation for far longer than they should.

An increasing housing shortage is being cited as the "fundamental =
reason" why homeless people are on average spending two months in B&Bs =
before they are offered accommodation in the city.

Although this is a significant improvement on previous years' figures, =
Worcester City Council's continued failure to meet the Government's =
six-week target means it is at risk of legal action when families or =
young people are affected.

A hundred families are currently housed in different types of temporary =
accommodation - including B&Bs - around the city. The council says it is =
on target to almost half this figure by 2010.

The council's cabinet has now agreed a raft of new policies aiming to =
cut the length of time homeless people spend in B&Bs.

In the future, people in temporary accommodation will no longer be =
offered a choice of houses to move into, a luxury thgat housing officers =
insist Worcester can no longer afford because of the shortage of =
available homes.

Councillor Francis Lankester, the cabinet member for safer and stronger =
communities, said: "I think this is the only way we're going to meet =
Government targets. Virtually no other authority gives homeless people a =
choice of homes - I think we are the only one."

The strict rules about which types of home are offered to which =
households will be relaxed to allow more flexibility, so a couple with =
one child may be offered a three-bedroom house if no two-bedroom =
properties are available.

Amergency procedures are also to be agreed with housing associations to =
ensure any available homes are given to people in temporary =
accommodation first if the six-week target is about to be breached.

Labour councillor Geoff Williams, the chairman of the council's scrutiny =
committee, said he agreed "these are all sensible options to improve =
homelessness," but urged the cabinet to consult further with housing =
associations before implementing them.

But council leader Councillor Simon Geraghty said: "We need to lay this =
down as a statement of intent. It's very important we move forward on =
this issue and make cabinet's commitment to improving the situation =
absolutely clear."

The council currently houses around 200 homeless households in Worcester =
each year.

















William Charles Tinker, Sr.
New Hampshire Homeless
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

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<DIV class=3Dheadline>Homeless families still spending too long in=20
bed-and-breakfasts</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dheadline>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px"><I>By <A=20
href=3D"mailto:jsc@worcesternews.co.uk"><FONT =
color=3D#000000><STRONG>Jack=20
Blanchard</STRONG></FONT></A></I></DIV>
<DIV style=3D"PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px">&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px"><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/wnnewslatest/display.var.1991=
162.0.homeless_families_still_spending_too_long_in_bedandbreakfasts.php">=
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/wnnewslatest/display.var.1991162.0.ho=
meless_families_still_spending_too_long_in_bedandbreakfasts.php</A></FONT=
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omments_form"><STRONG><FONT=20
color=3D#000000></FONT></STRONG></A>&nbsp;</DIV>
<P>HOMELESS families in Worcester are still being forced to live in=20
bed-and-breakfast accommodation for far longer than they should.</P>
<P>An increasing housing shortage is being cited as the "fundamental =
reason" why=20
homeless people are on average spending two months in B&amp;Bs before =
they are=20
offered accommodation in the city.</P>
<P>Although this is a significant improvement on previous years' =
figures,=20
Worcester City Council's continued failure to meet the Government's =
six-week=20
target means it is at risk of legal action when families or young people =
are=20
affected.</P>
<P>A hundred families are currently housed in different types of =
temporary=20
accommodation - including B&amp;Bs - around the city. The council says =
it is on=20
target to almost half this figure by 2010.</P>
<P>The council's cabinet has now agreed a raft of new policies aiming to =
cut the=20
length of time homeless people spend in B&amp;Bs.</P>
<P>In the future, people in temporary accommodation will no longer be =
offered a=20
choice of houses to move into, a luxury thgat housing officers insist =
Worcester=20
can no longer afford because of the shortage of available homes.</P>
<P>Councillor Francis Lankester, the cabinet member for safer and =
stronger=20
communities, said: "I think this is the only way we're going to meet =
Government=20
targets. Virtually no other authority gives homeless people a choice of =
homes -=20
I think we are the only one."</P>
<P>The strict rules about which types of home are offered to which =
households=20
will be relaxed to allow more flexibility, so a couple with one child =
may be=20
offered a three-bedroom house if no two-bedroom properties are =
available.</P>
<P>Amergency procedures are also to be agreed with housing associations =
to=20
ensure any available homes are given to people in temporary =
accommodation first=20
if the six-week target is about to be breached.</P>
<P>Labour councillor Geoff Williams, the chairman of the council's =
scrutiny=20
committee, said he agreed "these are all sensible options to improve=20
homelessness," but urged the cabinet to consult further with housing=20
associations before implementing them.</P>
<P>But council leader Councillor Simon Geraghty said: "We need to lay =
this down=20
as a statement of intent. It's very important we move forward on this =
issue and=20
make cabinet's commitment to improving the situation absolutely =
clear."</P>
<P>The council currently houses around 200 homeless households in =
Worcester each=20
year.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker, Sr.<BR>New =
Hampshire=20
Homeless<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. =
03276-1640=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">http://www.=
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HT=
ML>

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