£1.1m spent on housing the homeless

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NEW figures show Scarborough Council has spent over £1 million on temporary housing for the homeless over the past five years.

The information, released after a Freedom of Information request from the Evening News, shows that the council have spent £1,111,503 since 2006 on housing the town’s homeless.

The annual spend has also increased over the past two years, after a substantial drop off between 2007 and 2009.

However, there was a slight reduction on spending last year, with the total cost of £267,600 down slightly on the previous years figure of £270,206

And the annual cost as fallen dramatically since 2005, when the council spent over £450,000 after it found itself with a legal duty to look after 120 households who had been made homeless.

Andy Skelton, Scarborough Borough Council’s Head of Environmental Services said:

“Against the background of the current difficulties in the housing market, we were pleased to be able to slightly reduce the spending on temporary accommodation last year compared to the previous year, although spending is still currently at a higher level than it was three or four years ago.

“The council and the organisations we work with recognise that when a family becomes homeless and ends up in temporary accommodation, it can have traumatic effects, particularly for children. We have been working very hard with many local organisations to ensure that as far as possible homelessness is prevented and families can remain in their own homes, or at least within their own locality.”