Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th September 2013.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many families in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England are recorded as living in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation; and how many such families were recorded as living in B&Bs in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister for Housing

holding answer 3 June 2013

The latest figures on the number of households with dependent children or expectant mothers with no other dependent children recorded as living in bed and breakfast accommodation relate to 31 December 2012 and are included in the following table. The table also gives figures for 31 December 2010 and 31 December 2011.

The figures are the total numbers reported by local authorities as at each date. It is not possible from the information provided to identify individual households and so to track the number of households in bed and breakfast accommodation as at 31 December 2012 that had also been in bed and breakfast accommodation on any particular previous dates.

  Number of households with dependent children or expectant mothers with no other dependent children in bed and breakfast accommodation as at 31 December:
  2010 2011 2012
Barnsley Council 0 0 0
South Yorkshire(1) 0 1 3
England 660 1,310 1,690
(1) Comprises Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham arid Sheffield. Source: P1E quarterly returns

Figures for 31 March 2012 will be published on 6 June.

The figures for England are also available in DCLG Live Table 775, at

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness

The Barnsley Central constituency falls wholly within the area of Barnsley council. The area of Barnsley council also includes parts of the parts of Penistone and Stocksbridge, Wentworth and Dearne, and Barnsley East constituencies.

Homelessness is around half the average rate it was under the last Administration, and remains lower than in 27 of the last 30 years. England has a strong safety net, protected in law, to ensure families always have a roof over their head.

It is unacceptable and avoidable for families to be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation for long periods and legislation remains in place that prohibits the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for families unless in an emergency, and then for no more than six weeks.

We called on local housing authorities not to use bed and breakfast accommodation for families as one of the 10 challenges we set them in the recent Ministerial Working Group Report on Homelessness. These challenges form the basis of the Homelessness Gold Standard Challenge—a local peer review scheme supported by nearly £2 million of Government funding.

On 1 August, I announced the seven local authorities that account for almost 50% of families in bed and breakfast over six weeks who we are supporting with nearly £2 million, to test innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce the unacceptable numbers of families in bed and breakfast accommodation. Alongside this additional funding, a new working group has been formed which will work closely with local authorities using bed and breakfast to house families to help them tackle this damaging practice.

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