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Success in keeping Havering families out of B&Bs

PUBLISHED: 08:32 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:32 19 January 2016

Cllr Damian White

Cllr Damian White

Archant

Measures to stop families going into bed and breakfast accommodation are proving successful as Havering bucks rising national trends.

Official homelessness figures released in December show 3,000 families were living in B&Bs nationally towards the end of September compared to 2,060 at the same point in 2014.

In Havering there are now no children living in B&Bs.

Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, said: ”We try to avoid placing people in B&Bs and compared to other boroughs we have a low number.”

He said a number of different strategies had helped to achieve this.

“We want to provide as much as support for families and advocate to sustain tenancies as long as possible so people are not made homeless,” he said.

“We are successful in some areas but sometimes not, as landlords want to sell their property.”

Private accommodation with rent deposit support and making use of the 96 council-owned hostels are also helping.

National statistics showed that many families were staying in B&Bs longer than the recommended six weeks, something else Havering Council has been successful in avoiding.

April saw the highest number of Havering families in B&Bs, where 36 families stayed for an average of 15.9 nights.

This number dropped to 19 families in June with an average stay of 5.7 nights.

A council spokeswoman said no families stayed beyond the recommended maximum of six weeks.

According to information provided by homelessness charity Shelter, the council had 74 statutory homeless households living in hostels at the end of September.

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