The housing policy that is making people homeless

26 Jan 2024
Parents and child with a house drawing

A Government grant, intended to ease homelessness costs, is increasing the numbers living in Temporary Accommodation. 

Cllr Harmer said “Birmingham City Council are using money provided through a government housing grant to buy properties to use as temporary accommodation in the hope of reducing the number of people in B&B’s.

“Homes are being bought to ease pressure on the increasing number of families in temporary accommodation, however as some of these homes are currently privately let, the evicted families then find themselves facing homelessness.

Laura, a mum and civil servant in Acocks Green, has been served an eviction notice by her landlord because he intends to sell. As private rents have increased beyond her budget, and supply is short, she simply cannot afford to move to another private rental property.

She called the council to add herself to the housing wait list, only to find that her current property was being bought by the council for use as temporary accommodation. Attempts to switch the tenancy and rent her current home via the council have so far been unsuccessful. She now faces being put into temporary accommodation with her son; potentially miles away from his school and community.

Cllr Harmer added: “As it stands, we will be making a mother and son homeless in a place they know, so that we can move someone in on the temporary accommodation waitlist. Someone who may have originally lived miles away. Where’s the sense in that?

“Taking homes out of the private sector and reducing that supply, just adds to the problem. It’s akin to shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic. 

“What we need is new homes that can be used for social rent, especially larger, family homes. The Government needs to change policy urgently or the problem will keep getting worse.”