Concerns over long-term sustainability of homeless services in Scarborough

A Scarborough councillor has expressed concern over the long-term sustainability of services to support the homeless.
A Scarborough councillor has expressed concern over the long-term sustainability of services to support the homeless.

A Scarborough councillor said he is concerned about the long-term sustainability of services in regards to homeless people.

Figures obtained by The Scarborough News through a Freedom of Information request show that in 2016 the number of accepted homeless households in the borough was 106.

This dropped to 94 in 2017 and 83 in 2018.

However, the council's spending to support the homeless has increased despite a drop in numbers.

Figures reveal that three years ago, the council spent £56,000 to house rough sleepers in hotels and B&Bs, a figure that went down to £46,000 the following year but that suddenly soared to £105,000 in 2018.

This, according to councillor Bill Chatt, is because of new legislation – the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced in April 2018 – which is expensive to implement.

Read more: Council's spending goes up despite homeless decrease
When the act came into force the Government made available a total £72.5m to be distributed across the country until 2020.

Yorkshire and the Humber has been allocated £3.7m which equates to 5% of the funding. The amount received by Scarborough Borough Council, though, is a small part of that.

“We got somewhere in the region of £100,000 but I don’t think it’s enough and I think we will be short,” added Cllr Chatt.

“Coastal communities tend to be the least looked after yet we get the same money that Harrogate gets when they have to look after half of the people that we do, where’s the fairness in that?

"I worry about things like cuts from the county council and I worry about how this council is going to maintain services because we simply don’t have enough staff.”