Kingston Council does not have bed and breakfast accommodation available for homeless families within the Borough. There are 589 households living in temporary accommodation (including private sector leasing and our hostels) and the rising homelessness figures cannot be ignored.
154 households are currently in nightly paid accommodation and the Conservative Administration spent nearly £1.3 million on bed and breakfast accommodation last year alone.
Liberal Democrats are campaigning for 22 Gloucester Road to be used for a period of five years for emergency housing. Formerly used as a care home, there are 16 bedrooms and a large garden with a range of mature trees and shrubs.
The Conservative Administration has launched a legal process that could declare the property "surplus to requirements". At that point the Conservative Administration could sell 22 Gloucester Road to the highest bidder, despite the shortage of emergency accommodation.
Councillor Bamford, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, said
“Keeping 22 Gloucester Road for emergency housing is a no brainer!
Within five years, the amount the Council would save on putting people in bed and breakfast outside the borough would be paid back.
And in five years time, we could look again at the Council’s finances and make an informed decision to continue using it for emergency housing or sell for a capital receipt."
Speaking about homelessness in the long term, Councillor Bamford continued
“We must build the new homes that meet local need.
Conservative housing reforms that force councils to sell their homes are only going to make building new homes increasingly difficult.
Finding emergency care for homeless people and expanding the range of accommodation for homeless people, particularly those who are young, vulnerable, or with families will become impossible.”
• Kingston Council estimate it costs £10,000 per annum to home a family
• Costs for bed and breakfast accommodation have risen 260% since 2010
|Year||Bed & Breakfast expenditure ( £ )|
|2015/16||Awaiting year end figures