Council puts homeless families up in ‘four star hotels’ because it has nowhere else to put them
- Westminster City Council spending up to £12,000 a month per family
- Report suggests families made homeless due to benefit caps
- Council says it has nowhere else to put the homeless families
By JAMES RUSH
PUBLISHED: 21:17, 7 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:15, 7 February 2013
A council in London is spending thousands of pounds housing homeless families in three and four star hotels because it has nowhere else to put them, it has been reported.
Westminster City Council is spending up to £12,000 a month for a family to be housed in a hotel.
According to the BBC London investigation, many of the families have been made homeless because their housing benefits were capped last year.
The council has said it is using hotels because there is nowhere else for the homeless families to go and it was trying to re-house the families.
Many of the cases were believed to have been staying in hotels for months, despite laws saying people should only be in bed and breakfast accommodation for no more than six weeks.
The report suggested the government had informed the council they were breaking the law.
The BBC report shows the Osmans, a family of ten who had been put up in the Jury’s Inn hotel, in Chelsea, since November, after they became homeless when they could no longer afford the rent on their four-bedroom house because of the benefit caps.
It said the family’s housing benefit had been £700 a week, but it was now costing nearly the same amount every night for them to stay in the hotel.
Labour MP Karen Buck said it was a scandalous waste of money. She said: ‘These families have been losing their homes because of the cuts in housing benefit, Westminster Council cheerleading for those cuts, and now we find they are pouring money into hotels to have to house those families who have lost their homes.’
Conservative councillor Jonathan Glaz said: ‘The scale of the problem I think is somewhat unprecedented in so much as we have large numbers of people presenting as homeless and we don’t have immediately opportunity to put them into self-contained accommodation or into social homes immediately.’
A Westminster Council spokesman was unavailable for comment this evening.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275256/Westminster-City-Council-puts-homeless-families-star-hotels-them.html#ixzz2KHyeQUrL
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