Homeless Peterborough families kept in hotels for longer than legal limit

Hundreds of homeless Peterborough families were housed in hotel accommodation for longer than six weeks by the city council despite it being against the law.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 6:00 am
A Travelodge in New Road, Peterborough

The city’s homelessness crisis resulted in 292 families spending longer than the legal limit inside Travelodges and B&Bs in 2017.

The figures were obtained by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRA) - the policy arm of children’s charity Just for Kids Law - through a Freedom of Information request.

Louise King, director of CRAE, said: “Bed and Breakfast accommodation is completely unsuitable for children – babies and very young children have nowhere to play, crawl and learn to walk and older children have no privacy and nowhere to study or socialise with friends.”

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Peterborough City Council said it had seen an “unprecedented number” of homeless families and that it had a “moral and statutory duty” to give people a roof over their heads.

A spokesman added: “Since 2017 we have actively worked with our partners to reduce our reliance on temporary accommodation. As of March 1, 2019 we had 88 households in B&B accommodation and, of this number, 52 had been there for longer than six weeks.

“These figures are continuing to steadily decrease which shows our approach to reducing homelessness in the city is working.”

The Peterborough Telegraph asked the Government if any action had been taken against the council for breaching the law. Housing minister Heather Wheeler replied: “Peterborough is making significant progress in getting families out of temporary accommodation and into longer-term housing, and I expect to see this continue over the coming weeks and months.”