Westminster Council to move homeless people out of London.
Homeless people will be shifted from the borough and relocated to places elsewhere in the UK – likely the home counties – from January 30. The Council is moving homeless people out of London to combat the high cost of temporary housing.
The council has argued it will enable people to “put down local roots”, despite many of them having been born in London.
It said it will help them find a job and access education and healthcare once they have been relocated.
Cllr Daniel Astaire said: “Westminster’s position at the heart of London, with some of the country’s highest housing costs and land values mean that the challenges involved in tackling homelessness here are particularly intense.
“While we do everything we can to prevent homelessness it seems likely that the numbers of homeless households seeking help from the council will remain high, as the availability of housing affordable for those on low incomes in high value areas is reducing.
“The fundamental issue is finding ways of helping them into homes they can afford into the long-term in ways the council can itself afford at a time when it has to reduce its budgets.”
The new policies are set to “respond to the range of pressures” faced by the Council, including increased numbers of homeless people and tighter budgets.
The Council said: “In common with other London boroughs (most of whom are in the same position) we will have to look further afield (from Westminster and London) to procure properties to meet demands.
“The new policy is needed to ensure those that most need to stay in Westminster and London do so – so we make the best use of the limited supply that is available.”
A London Councils Report in early 2016 found that the cost of temporary accommodation across London in 2014/15 was close to £663million.
It also found there to be a 77 per cent increase in homelessness between 2010 and 2014, reversing a decline that had been in evidence since 2005ss
source: Evening Standard
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