Fenland Council housing initiatives create huge savings in costs of bed and breakfast

PUBLISHED: 13:47 18 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 June 2010

By John Elworthy A RANGE of initiatives to tackle the threat of looming homelessness has seen a dramatic reduction in the sums spent on bed and breakfast in Fenland. Councillor Kit Owen, portfolio holder for sustainable communities, trumpeted the council

By John Elworthy

A RANGE of initiatives to tackle the threat of looming homelessness has seen a dramatic reduction in the sums spent on bed and breakfast in Fenland.

Councillor Kit Owen, portfolio holder for sustainable communities, trumpeted the council's success by declaring that "homelessness prevention has brought about significant savings".

He revealed that of the £44,000 budget put aside for bed and breakfast accommodation this year for homeless people, only £5,400 of it had so far been spent.

He revealed that 35 families have been prevented from becoming homeless due to a range of initiatives now on offer from the district council.

These include a court desk service, where legal help is provided at hearings to support those threatened with eviction, to the Sanctuary scheme which provides a safe room in the home to defend against domestic violence.

But Cllr Owen said the situation could change as demand increases but the initiatives "clearly demonstrate how effective prevention can bring about budgetary savings".

He added: "Prevention of homelessness also delivers positive outcomes for families, avoiding disruption of schools for example when having to move to temporary accommodation in different locations."

Cllr Owen also pointed out that the council's private sector housing team has undertaken enforcement action involving 27 cases of poor housing conditions. The same team has also intervened on 30 occasions regarding multiple occupation homes where standards and management were seen to be failing.

"The outcome of this contributes to ensuring Fenland residents can live in safe accommodation, free from significant health and safety hazards," he said.


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