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Families in B&B accommodation for longer than legal limit

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: October 01, 2013

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DOZENS of families have been housed in bed and breakfasts for more than the legally allowed limit.

Under the Suitability of Accommodation Act 2004, local housing authorities are able to place families or individuals into bed and breakfast accommodation when no other suitable home is available. But a condition in the act says no-one should be placed in this type of temporary housing for more than six weeks.

However, council figures released to the Mirror following a Freedom of Information request show that since September 2010, 42 families or individuals have been recorded as having been placed in temporary B&B accommodation for longer than the allowed time.

Lynne Finnis, housing manager at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, said: "Historically we've had to place very low numbers of homeless households in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation. Our proactive work with households at risk of homelessness means that we try to help them avoid reaching the crisis of homelessness in the first place by helping them into alternative accommodation."

But she added: "The increase in homelessness means that there is a shortage of other temporary accommodation for people to move into.

"We are on target to have reduced the number of households with children in B&B for longer than six weeks to three by the end of this month."

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