02:00PM, Friday 01 June 2018
London boroughs sending homeless people to cheaper properties in Slough has been described as one of the driving causes for the borough’s high level of households in temporary accommodation.
Slough Borough Council (SBC) has said that the number of people in temporary accommodation, who would be classified as statutorily homeless, has risen to 440 from 315 in July last year.
The council says many of these households come from London boroughs, many of whom can no longer afford the rent and declare themselves as homeless.
London boroughs find temporary accommodation landlords in Slough, who usually charge less money, and once the households’ tenancies expire and they are evicted, they become the responsibility of SBC.
The council reports that between September 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017, there were 178 households from the capital staying in temporary accommodation in Slough.
A council spokeswoman said that those are the ones SBC knows about, and implied that the real number could easily be double.
Out of this, 50 households were from Ealing, 41 from Hillingdon, 30 from Redbridge and 14 from Westminster.
So far, SBC has resisted the urge to lead by London’s example and send its homeless households to temporary accommodation in cheaper areas.
It aims to keep people in the borough but says it would not rule out moving people elsewhere if pressures continue.
The SBC spokeswoman said: “The thought has certainly crossed our minds as something to consider for the future, but ultimately our aim is to build more homes for people and getting more temporary accommodation for people.”
Slough Urban Renewal, a public-private partnership between the council and Morgan Sindall Investments LTD is in the midst of building 130 new properties as part of its small sites transformation project, which includes concerting disused garages, vacant plots of land, and an old doctors’ surgery into homes.
This year’s budget also set aside £18m for James Elliman homes, a council owned housing company which specialises in affordable housing.
The council is also working with landlords to try and persuade them to alleviate pressure from bed and breakfasts.
However this can be challenging as SBC competes with London boroughs’ often higher budgets and more lucrative offers.
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