Brent Council admits breaking B&B rules for homeless families

Cllr Margaret McLennan

Cllr Margaret McLennan - Credit: Archant

Brent Council has admitted keeping homeless families in B&B accommodation for longer than allowed fuelling fears of a housing crisis in the borough.

Brent Council has admitted keeping homeless families in B&B accommodation for longer than allowed fuelling fears of a housing crisis in the borough.

The town hall has highlighted its own failings in a report blaming a surge on applications for social housing in the borough.

The current rules state families with children, or with pregnant women – should not placed in B&Bs for longer than six weeks unless no alternative accommodation is available.

However, the town hall is currently breaching this order, with cases on the rise according to a report by the council’s strategic director of regeneration and growth.


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The number of households living in temporary accommodation (including B&Bs) had almost doubled to 3,341 in the last year following an increase of 95 per cent.

In addition the number of families who were moved to temporary accommodation outside of the borough had shot up by 426 per cent.

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With the council estimating that they can only permanently house 14 per cent of the 14,000 households on the waiting list this year, concerns have mounted on whether it can cope with an influx of applicants.

Nic Lane, of Brent Housing Action, said the transfer of housing stock into the private sector had created a shortage of affordable and social housing n the borough.

He added: “Brent is already in the midst of a housing crisis.

Proposals in the report to relieve pressure on housing will be discussed by cabinet members next Tuesday.

They include increasing supply and securing more affordable housing even if it means sourcing from outside the borough.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, lead member for regeneration and housing said: “We are doing everything we can to move families out of bed and breakfast accommodation.

“Robust homeless prevention, the conversion of a former care home into a homelessness hostel and making the best use of council stock are some of the ways we are responding to this issue.”

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