Liverpool city council face massive rise in homelessness costs

Liverpool city council face massive rise in homelessness costs

0:05 AM, 2nd February 2024, About 4 months ago 12

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Liverpool City Council is turning to the private rented sector to address the homelessness crisis.

The city is facing huge rises in temporary accommodation costs from £250,000 in 2019, to a projected £25m by the end of this financial year – a rise of 10,000%.

That’s the budget equivalent of everything the council spends on Culture, Tourism, Parks and Youth Services, or what would be raised in income if Council Tax was increased by 12.5%.

Spike in homelessness numbers

The council reveals almost 1,000 families are in temporary accommodation – just over half 558 are in B&Bs or hostels.

The council aims to tackle the temporary accommodation crisis by buying up to 400 properties from the PRS for a period of up to five years.

If approved, the proposed contract would start on 1 June 2024, with an estimated cost of £19m until 2029 – a net saving of £121m if current trends continue.

The council claims the city has seen a spike in homelessness numbers due to a rise in Section 21 eviction notices, fuelled by rent rises caused by an increase in mortgage interest rates.

The city council say their plan will help families move out of B&Bs and hotels into more suitable and sustainable accommodation.

Homelessness situation in Liverpool is at crisis point

Councillor Sarah Doyle, cabinet member for Housing, said: “The homelessness situation in Liverpool is at crisis point. Due to unprecedented external factors, the cost of housing people in temporary accommodation has become unsustainable.

“A 10,000% rise in five years is a frightening number and is creating phenomenal pressure on our overall Council budget.”

Ms Doyle points out that a meeting in Westminster saw councils warn the government the cost of housing homeless people is pushing them to the brink of bankruptcy.

Eastbourne’s council leader claims they are spending 49p in every £1 of taxpayers’ money on temporary accommodation.

Revoke Section 21

Ms Doyle adds: “This is a nationwide problem, as we saw at Westminster last week, and we need the government to take action on a number of levels, not least on revoking Section 21 notices and increasing local housing allowance rates and regulating rents.

“This temporary accommodation plan coming to Cabinet is a good step forward in mitigating the rise in the costs we are having to endure.

“It will crucially also provide people and families with a more homely and sustainable setting. I fear what impact the current situation is having on the mental health of those affected, not least the children.”

“Hopefully by June, we will be in a position to begin this contract and start to provide accommodation in our communities which will enable people to live a more normal life whilst their long-term situations are being resolved.”


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Comments

Mick Roberts

16:39 PM, 4th February 2024, About 4 months ago

Becoming a popular theme isn't it. Those Councils that have been the most vocal about Selective Licensing now are having the highest homeless bills per year.
Nottingham's homeless bill is now £8 million a year 6 years after introducing Oops Forcing Selective Licensing on 99% of tenants who didn't want it.

We could do with someone who has lots of time to do Freedom Of Information Requests with these Councils to see what homeless costs they have now 2024 Post-Licensing compared to other Councils who don't have Selective Licensing.

Stella

17:59 PM, 4th February 2024, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 04/02/2024 - 16:39
Newham Council were the first in the country to introduce selective licensing all over the borough.
In year 2022/2023 they set aside £13.7m. for the homeless accomodation but they had an overspend of £7.1m and the total bill was £21.1m.
It will probably be more this year because they have a massive problem.

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