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Hundreds deemed not to be homeless by Havering Council

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:01 09 October 2015

Cllr Ross Hatfull says Redbridge Council will ask people to move out of the borough so they do not become homeless, such is the extent of the housing crisis. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

Cllr Ross Hatfull says Redbridge Council will ask people to move out of the borough so they do not become homeless, such is the extent of the housing crisis. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Havering Council has the lowest acceptance rate of homelessness of any London borough.

Government figures reveal 29 per cent of applications from people claiming to be homeless were successful from 2014 to 2015 – much lower than the London-wide average of 53pc.

Of the 654 applicants, only 191 people were recognised as eligible to be given a home, which the authority has said is due to its early intervention.

In the neighbouring boroughs of Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Newham – which all have at least twice as many homeless people as Havering – the homeless acceptance rate stood at 38 per cent, 40 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Under existing law, councils have a duty of care to provide people identified as homeless with accommodation.

Deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing. Cllr Damian White, said: “Through Liberty Housing, our social lettings agency, we are able to help the vast majority of people who are in urgent need of housing to find private rented accommodation.

“It is our priority to ensure that as many people as possible are helped early on, rather than becoming homeless.”

In Havering, 296 people were deemed not to be legitimately homeless in the last financial year.

This means the council had reason to believe the person had a safe place to live in or outside of the UK.

Other reasons given included applicants being in receipt of funds to secure private rented accommodation such as housing benefit.

In order to be eligible for a home, people need to demonstrate they have no accommodation available to them within the UK or the rest of the world, they are a priority – such as having mental health needs, pregnant women, vulnerable children – and they have a connection with the borough.

People who appear to be intentionally homeless are not eligible for a home.

Among those offered a home by the council, 77 were women and 103 applicants had children.

People aged between 25 and 44 made up the largest group of successful applicants, followed by people between the ages of 16 and 24.

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