In this article published yesterday the Guardian examines the realities of life in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs for those made homeless.
As the article points out there has been a huge increase of 44% over the past year of the number families being housed in B&Bs, with the most dramatic rise in central London. This situation is bad for all concerned as councils are forced to fork out huge sums for insecure sub-standard accommodation that has proved severely damaging to children.
The experience of our clients at Z2K shows that this dramatic rise has been driven by the cap and other changes to Housing Benefit payments alongside a chronic shortage of affordable housing. As Romin Sutherland, Manager of our NextDoor Project, is quoted as saying in the article:
“[the housing benefit cap] is driving a huge rise in homelessness, which is itself costing the taxpayer many millions. And this doesn’t account for the longer term costs of uprooting established communities and dumping them without support in unfamiliar areas that are unable to provide for their needs.
“Instead of capping housing benefit, perhaps the government should be focusing on providing low-cost housing that gives back to the taxpayer over generations, rather than squandering our money on exorbitant rents”