max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Babergh: Council turning to temporary accommodation to solve homelessness

16:00 14 January 2014

Babergh District Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh.

Babergh District Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh.

Rising cases of homelessness are forcing one borough council into putting more and more homeless people into temporary accommodation – some up to 50 miles away.


Applications for homelessness to Babergh District Council have been steadily increasing in recent years, from 77 in 2009 to more than 100 in the past three years.

This has coincided with an increase in people being placed in temporary accommodation, with the council housing people in bed and breakfasts since 2012.

Handfuls of people have even been sent to accommodation as far away as Lowestoft, but the council insisted this was a rarity.

Of the two cases in the past year, one wanted to be in the Lowestoft area, while another was escaping domestic violence and was placed in Lowestoft for a weekend while refuge was found.

A spokeswoman said: “Babergh attempts to prevent homelessness wherever possible. In the last two years, the number of households accepted for housing under the homelessness legislation hasn’t increased.”

She added that the council has introduced a rent deposit scheme to help tackle homelessness, which helps people arrange housing in the private sector. It helped 10 people last year.

Tim Ayrton is the director and team leader of Number 72, which supports a whole range of vulnerable people in and around Sudbury.

He said: “We do have people who are homeless and people who are sleeping on sofas, and unless their circumstances are extreme or they have children, they don’t really have much chance of getting anything.

There’s no night shelter in Sudbury, and the difficulty is that the other night shelters are often full. It’s very difficult to actually locate a temporary place.”

He added: “The level of debt appears to be increasing, and that appears to be connected with the government’s benefit changes, which impacts on homelessness.

“We’re really talking about the marginalised in society. Homeless people, people who are in debt, people who are struggling with the benefits. These people are not high profile at all and, generally speaking, they don’t get the help and support they might deserve.”

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the EADT asked for the numbers of people in various types of temporary housing on March 31 and September 30 for every year since 2010.

While only handfuls of households were in such accommodation in 2010, 2011 and 2012, there were 10 in temporary accommodation in March 2013 and 27 as of September 2013, five of which were in bed and breakfasts.

However, the council said this spike was due to a change in the way temporary accommodation was counted.

Those being placed in temporary accommodation outside Babergh has also risen, reaching a peak of five in September 2013, including one child.

Last month the EADT revealed that homelessness application to neighbouring St Edmundsbury had quadrupled in only three years.



The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

A barge on the River Gipping at Bramford around 1895. The road bridge and St Mary’s Church are on the left.

Beautiful countryside, with pleasant walks, fishing and picnic areas are how most now see the area around the River Gipping.

Pictured is Tim Yeo

Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his libel action over a “cash-for-advocacy” claim which he said trashed his reputation.

Essex public sector cuts

Public sector bodies in north Essex have had more than half a billion pounds cut from their budgets over the past five years.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24