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10:49 Wednesday 22 May 2013  Written by Nick Mayo

Housing crisis sees London's homeless moved to Slough

Housing crisis sees London's homeless moved to Slough
Cllr Rob Anderson

The UK has spent almost £2billion housing vulnerable homeless families in short-term temporary accommodation.

New research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, demonstrates the dramatic scale of Britain's housing crisis.

Rising private rents, a shortage of affordable housing and benefit cuts have forced local authorities to place increasing numbers of households into bed and breakfast accommodation, hostels and shelters.

And an increasing number of London's homeless are being moved to towns outside the capital, such as Slough.


'Moving to Slough is not like going to McDonald's'


Slough Borough Council leader Robert Anderson said: "If authorities put people in our area with complex needs, or even just families; they need to inform us.

"If we know where they have come from we can make sure that the borough does not shirk its responsibilities and just pass on their more difficult clients. You can't just pitch up half way through a year and expect to get a school place. It's not McDonald's."

With the number of houses built in Britain falling to new lows, a four-month study by the Bureau drawing on local authority disclosures, has revealed that £1.88billion - enough to build 72,000 homes in London - has gone on renting temporary accommodation in 12 of Britain's biggest cities over the past four years.

Campaigners have said welfare changes will exacerbate the problem.

London councils are rapidly accelerating the rehousing of homeless households outside their home boroughs.

Some 32,643 homeless households have been rehoused out of their borough since 2009.

In the year to April, 10,832 households were rehoused in this way - a 15.86 per cent rise on the previous 12 months.

Housing minister Mark Prisk said: "There is absolutely no excuse for families to be sent miles away without proper regard for their circumstances, or to be placed in unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation for long periods of time."

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