Council’s homeless support could be upped to £440k

Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton, the headquarters of Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton, the headquarters of Arun District Council

Arun District Council’s Cabinet yesterday agreed to recommend the allocation of up to £80,000 of additional funding provision ‘for those at risk of homelessness’.

If approved by full council on March 8, this would be added to the £360,000 of funding provision originally set aside for B&B accommodation.

The cabinet meeting heard a report that explained that as a local authority, Arun District Council has a statutory obligation to home homeless people when they are: eligible for public funds; have some sort of connection to the area; can prove that they are not intentionally homeless; and can prove that they have a priority need.

Councillor Trevor Bence, Arun District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Fluctuations in demand for Bed and Breakfast accommodation make budgeting for this provision challenging.

“Arun District Council continues to take steps to address the situation, working closely with other authorities who face similar challenges at the moment.

“The council has invested in additional temporary accommodation with the development of six flats in Bognor Regis a few years ago and investigations are underway to see if further suitable accommodation could be acquired by the Council.

“These steps help to reduce the financial impact Bed and Breakfast accommodation has.”

In a statement from Arun, it said: “The incidence of homelessness in Arun currently shows no signs of overall reduction.

“This is in line with both county and national trends.

“In England, since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, with the overall national total rising by 12 per cent in the year to June 30, 2015.”

It added that ‘the main reasons’ somebody might be homeless ‘include; eviction, parental eviction and relationship breakdown, with street homelessness also starting to become a more notable factor’.

The recommendation will be considered at the Full Council meeting on March 8, 2017.

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