Plan to tackle homeless problem

By Jenni DixonA PROPOSAL has been put forward to encourage elderly residents to move from a sheltered housing scheme so homeless families can move in.

By Jenni Dixon

A PROPOSAL has been put forward to encourage elderly residents to move from a sheltered housing scheme so homeless families can move in.

Waveney District Council currently has 29 families living in bed and breakfast accommodation, but in the past has been forced to move families from the area because of a lack of suitable housing for them.

Now it is being recommended to approve an initiative in which elderly tenants at the sheltered housing scheme Avenue Mansions in Lowestoft should be encouraged and financially compensated to move to other sheltered housing accommodation so temporary homeless people could be placed there instead.


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But it stressed the existing tenants would not be required to move and recognised the plan may cause friction between the different age groups as residents have already complained about children and visitors at the flats.

However, Waveney District Council said the three-building complex was not built for sheltered housing, which may explain why six of its 26 flats are empty, and added the move would save money and provide better accommodation than current arrangements.

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The council's financial package to existing residents includes moving costs and any related charges, carpets of up to £500 and £500 in compensation.

It is also planning to let to homeless families temporarily existing flats within sheltered housing schemes that have been difficult to let, but recognised both of those option would only be short-term solutions.

The Government requires all councils to stop using bed and breakfast accommodation for the homeless, except in cases of emergency and for no longer than six weeks, from April.

The plan will be recommended to the council's executive on November 11.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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