01:00PM, Tuesday 09 January 2018
The need for temporary accommodation in Slough has been ‘rising alarmingly’ over the last five months according to Slough Borough Council.
Almost 80 vulnerable people and members of young families from Slough were declared unintentionally homeless between July and September, according to Government figures.
The latest statistics, from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), show how many applicants were declared unintentionally homeless by Slough Borough Council (SBC).
Of the 78 declared unintentionally homeless in the borough, 77 were placed in temporary accommodation for the foreseeable future.
A total of 58 applicants had at least one dependent child, 14 had three children and eight had mental health issues.
Housing officers classify someone as unintentionally homeless if they believe they are without a place to live or are threatened with homelessness.
Cases could include a parent facing homelessness due to being made redundant or having their benefits cut.
Those determined to be unintentionally homeless join the waiting list for a council house, living in temporary accommodation provided by the local authority, while others stay with friends and family.
The overall homelessness figures in Slough show a 37 per cent rise from the same period in 2016, and a 77 per cent increase from the third quarter of 2014.
Slough Borough Council dealt with 120 decisions between July and September and decided that 42 applicants were either not homeless, not priority cases or were intentionally homeless.
These figures do not include rough sleepers.
Across England local authorities accepted 15,290 households as being statutorily homeless between July and September, up six per cent from the previous quarter and up two per cent on the same quarter of 2016.
An SBC spokeswoman said: “The need for temporary accommodation in Slough has been rising alarmingly over the last five months, in August we placed 69 households in temporary accommodation and we currently have 384 households in all forms of temporary accommodation.”
She said SBC has been trying to find suitable accommodation in the private sector but that it struggles to compete with many London boroughs who have more money to offer incentives to landlords.
“We are housing as many as we can in council homes but obviously there are other groups who require priority housing,” she added.
“We don’t know why there has been such a rise [in homelessness], it doesn’t appear to be just in Slough, it appears to be across the board.”
The council is predicting an overspend of an extra £1m on homelessness in its current budget, depending on demand.
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