Times reveals millions spent on temporary housing
PUBLISHED: 11:21 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:13 25 August 2010
COUNCIL bosses have revealed they spent nearly £3 million in one year housing homeless people in temporary accommodation. Figures obtained from Greenwich council after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Times revealed it spent more than double
COUNCIL bosses have revealed they spent nearly £3 million in one year housing homeless people in temporary accommodation.
Figures obtained from Greenwich council after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Times revealed it spent more than double neighbouring boroughs Bexley and Bromley on temporary accommodation.
The Labour council, which currently has approximately 12,000 people on its housing list, spent £2,792,964 in 2007 to 2008 on temporary accommodation reducing it by £861,854 last year (08-09).
Bromley council spent £1,316,855 on temporary accommodation last year.
Greenwich council has 200 people in temporary accommodation as a result of its 159 accommodation stock being insufficient.
On average, the council pays £47 per room, per night, for a three-bedroom house and £28 for a room with shared facilities.
From 2007 to 2008 they placed 582 applicants in temporary accommodation outside the borough, most commonly in Lewisham, Dartford and Bexley, which dipped to 396 last year (08-09).
A spokesperson for Greenwich council said in August this year it had achieved the best results across all London boroughs in reducing the numbers of homeless households in temporary accommodation.
The spokesperson added: "This means families in Greenwich are securing more permanent homes. Rather than being placed into bed and breakfast accommodation, the vast majority of homeless families in the borough are now being provided with permanent accommodation, helping them properly settle into a neighbourhood and meaning children can stay in the same school."
Greenwich council took 15 weeks to answer the FOI request, failing to respond within the 20 working day timescales stated in the Act.
A spokesperson for the council said: "This was a query which asked a variety of complex questions and required a very detailed response.
"It was a request Greenwich council could have declined to answer as the time and staff hours taken to gather the response exceeded the £450 cost limit set on FoI requests.
"Instead, the council chose to provide the information as asked, but its processing and clearance needed to be ranked against other higher priority work.