Posted: Fri 6th Oct 2023

Flintshire’s Homeless Crisis: Council report reveals 134% surge in emergency accommodation need

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 6th, 2023

Demand for temporary homeless accommodation in Flintshire has rocketed this year, according to figures in a council report.

At a meeting of Flintshire Council’s housing scrutiny committee, councillors will be told that the authority is heavily reliant on hotels and bed and breakfasts to meet demands.

A report to the committee authored by the chief officer for housing notes that in the eight months from January through to August the need for emergency accommodation placements (hotels and B&Bs) has increased by 134 per cent (61 in January 2023 to 143 in August 2023).

It states that the resources required to manage these operational pressures has been a significant pressure for the council’s homelessness service.

The report says: “Due to additional demands on the homeless service, and like the majority of Welsh local authorities, a significant number of bed and breakfast and hotel placements are now necessary to meet demand.

“As of August 2023, there were a total of 220 homeless households assisted with ‘interim housing’. 187 of these had a one-bed need and 33 were families. 138 households were placed in bed and breakfast and hotel settings and five households within other holidays type lets.

“A number of these are secured by way of block bookings but in recent months the growth in demand has required an increase in one off booking arrangements.”

According to the report, whilst this presents challenges with securing accommodation, it avoids the council being locked into higher levels of block bookings with hoteliers as there is no commitment when rooms are not required.

Hotels and holiday lets are classed as emergency housing, and occupation is via a licence agreement.
At the end of August there were 17 homeless households housed within council housing properties and 34 households within private sector leased accommodation.

These properties are located across the county and often within or close to larger towns in Flintshire to enable access to local public services and community infrastructure for homeless households.

The council’s Glanrafon Homeless Hub provides accommodation and support for 26 single people but this is also routinely at 100 per cent occupancy.

“Demand for homeless accommodation has grown significantly during the calendar year”, the report adds.

“This can in part be attributed to changes in legislation with the introduction of the 11th category of ‘Priority Need for Rough Sleepers’ (and those at risk of rough sleeping), the cost-of-living crisis, increases in people’s complexity of needs linked to the established priority needs categories and an increasingly difficult private rented sector which is unaffordable for many, and which has significantly reduced supply.

“Demand is likely to continue to grow in the short to medium term, and there are limited homes to meet the needs of homeless households.”

Flintshire Council’s housing scrutiny committee meets to discuss the contents of the report on Wednesday (October 11).
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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