Adur Council places homeless families up to 140 miles away


ADUR’s district council is increasingly seeking temporary accommodation outside the area to meet demand, an access to information request showed.

Out-of-zone placements – which are defined as any housing outside the district – reached a six-year high of 75 households in the second quarter of 2021.

The furthest away where households have been placed is Northamptonshire and there are also accommodation records in Medway.

The council said it had also placed households in need of temporary accommodation in Worthing, Brighton, Hove, Crawley, Eastbourne, Horsham, Arun and Chichester.

In March 2015, only one household was placed outside the neighborhood but this figure rose to 51 in March 2021, which shows a multiplication by more than fifty in six years.

In most cases, the majority of households placed in temporary accommodation are pregnant families or families with children.

In June of this year, 87 Adur households were placed in temporary housing, 75 of these households were placed outside Adur, which means that only 12 were placed in the district.

The council’s temporary accommodation policy says a shortage of affordable housing and rising rental costs – factors it says are beyond its control – mean growing numbers of households will be moved out neighborhood.

Lee Cowen, leader of the local Labor Party, said placing families outside the district has a “worrying human cost”.

Map showing the distance between Adur and Northamptonshire

He said: “The Labor group is aware of the increasing number of households placed outside the district for emergency accommodation and it is not in the best interests of these families.

“The human cost of this policy is worrying: families in need of emergency housing are already part of at least one vulnerable group, having experienced domestic violence, family breakdown or economic insecurity, particularly in terms of housing, food, energy and fuel poverty.

“Locating these families far from their original location increases the disruption and alienation these families experience in a time already saturated with personal challenges. ”

Cllr Cowen said a resident of her department at Lancing was moved to a Gatwick Travelodge when she was 30 weeks pregnant.

He said it turned out to be difficult for the woman who had to pay to park each night as well as pay for fuel to and from Lancing.

Cllr Cowen said the resident – who is now in permanent accommodation – had no cooking facilities and was “moved from pillar to post”.

A spokesperson said the council “always takes the needs of people into consideration” when they are placed outside the district.

They said: “The housing team keep in touch with anyone living in temporary accommodation outside of Adur, and if they want to come back, we work with them to find suitable accommodation.”

They added that “the majority” of those placed outside the region live in West Sussex or Brighton and Hove and that anyone living outside Sussex has been “relocated at their own request”.

They noted that other local authorities should be notified when a resident is placed in temporary accommodation outside Adur – a legal requirement of all councils using this practice.

L'Argus: homeless people were sent to temporary housing in different citiesHomeless people were sent to temporary housing in different cities

The issue was raised at a plenary council meeting in July, when labor adviser Catherine Arnold highlighted an under-spending of £ 129,000 for emergency and temporary housing in Adur’s budget for 2020 / 21.

She said: “I really hope that the search for cheaper temporary accommodation to achieve this is not because we are looking further because we know what separating families can do when you need to. your support networks. ”

While union adviser Sharon Sluman said accommodation outside the district can disrupt families and support networks.

She said: “Remote relocation removes people from their support networks when they need it most and increases the cost and time required to go to work and school when their resources are depleted. more and more limited.

“Often, families are placed in emergency accommodation without cooking facilities, which means families are forced to become further poorer and in poor health because they have to buy fast food.

“On top of that, these parents are often penalized by accommodation officials for things like eating on the beds, when in reality they have no other place to eat.”

Council leaders were contacted for comment, but did not respond on time.

Temporary accommodation outside the UK

Data from the Department of Upgrading, Housing and Communities, which until recently was known as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, shows that 95,450 households are living in temporary housing.

A quarter of them, or 26,170, live outside their local area, three times more than ten years ago.

Local authorities outside London have placed 85% more households out of their area in the past three years.

To view Adur data, see this link: https://adur-worthing-hr.onmats.com/w/webpage/4525BBFCF1?context_record_id=9921347&webpage_token=ffdf1db6e74fd4ffa9abd5a0a8921df44fc5de4290139deb19

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