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EAST HAMPSHIRE DC BEATS HOMELESS TARGET

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East Hampshire DC currently has no homeless households living in Bed and Breakfast accommodation, new figues have r...
East Hampshire DC currently has no homeless households living in Bed and Breakfast accommodation, new figues have revealed.

In July 2002, the government introduced a national target to end the use of B&B by the end of March 2004.

Council leader, Elizabeth Cartwright, was delighted with the news. 'Bed and Breakfast accommodation is not a good solution for homeless families and I'm delighted that we have been able to find better solutions despite growing numbers of homeless people.

'We will continue to use bed and breakfast only in emergencies and as a last resort'.

The council has always used B&B as a last resort and only for a limited period of time. However, an increase in homelessness applications in 2002 meant that on many occasions B&B accommodation was the only accommodation available. Over the past 12 months an average of seven households have spent some time in B&B each month.

In order to eliminate the use of B&B the council has introduced new initiatives including the appointment of an additional housing advisor, partnership working with housing associations to increase the number of both temporary and permanent lettings, the introduction of a mediation scheme for young homeless people, development of emergency accommodation for vulnerable single people, building relationships with the private rented sector and an emphasis on prevention to try to ensure that people can remain in their homes.

As part of the strategy the council is appealing for anyone with a room or a property to let to contact their housing needs team.

The council was able to move the one remaining family in B&B to alternative temporary accommodation at the end of August. Although homelessness applications to the council continue to rise, housing officers will continue to try to avoid the use of B&B accommodation except when it is unavoidable.

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