'Disgrace' of homeless being housed in B&Bs
THE region's two councils have admitted housing homeless families in bed and breakfast accommodation beyond the current legal limit.
Under legislation, councils are only allowed to place adults and children in B&Bs for a maximum of six weeks.
But a new study has revealed that both Hull City Council and East Riding Council were among 125 authorities across England to have placed people in hotel rooms for six weeks or more since April 2010.
Guest houses and B&B hotels are meant to be a short-term solution while homeless families and individuals wait for council accommodation.
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Decisions by local authorities to extend their stay beyond the six-week limit are subject to potential challenge through judicial reviews.
The study also showed the highest weekly spend on providing B&B accommodation for a single family by East Riding Council since early 2010 had been £861.
The highest equivalent spend in Hull was £336.
The survey was compiled by the Labour Party through Freedom of Information requests to every council in the country.
Overall, it found the use of temporary B&B accommodation beyond the six-week limit has risen by 800 per cent since this Government came into power.
Jack Dromey, Labour's shadow housing minister, said: "It is an absolute disgrace that on this Government's watch the number of families with children and pregnant women living in bed and breakfasts for months on end has soared.
"The Government's housing and economic policies are failing and families with children are paying the price.
"Affordable house building has collapsed, rents are soaring and their ill-thought-through benefit changes are driving up homelessness.
"However, the Government's policies are not just causing desperate hardship for those affected, they are costing taxpayers millions of pounds every week."
A recent report published by Hull City Council showed the average length of stay for families it placed in B&Bs last year was seven days at an average cost of £40 per night.
The average for expectant families was ten days while the average stay for a single young person was 4.2 days.
The report also showed twice as many homeless young single women were placed in B&Bs than young males.
Overall, the council spent just under £63,000 housing individuals and families in B&Bs and guest houses last year.
Laura Carr, the council's housing manager, said: "Bed and breakfast accommodation is only used as emergency provision, with families and vulnerable people being moved on to more appropriate accommodation as soon as possible."