No Peterborough homeless families are now being placed in Travelodges

No homeless families in Peterborough are currently being placed in Travelodges, the city council has confirmed.

Saturday, 19th January 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:53 pm
Exterior of the Travelodge, New Road, Peterborough EMN-160921-151459009

It is a welcome boost for the authority which has managed to boost its housing stock in Peterborough.

The council has been criticised previously for moving families into Travelodges outside of Peterborough, including to Doncaster, at a large cost, but last year it revealed all families were now being accommodated in the city.

The authority has now confirmed it is not using Travelodges in Peterborough either.

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Head of housing Sean Evans told members on the council’s Adults and Communities Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday: “As of this week there are no families or individuals in Peterborough who are housed in Travelodges - this is a reduction from the peak number of 63 households in June 2018.

“We have had enormous success over the past seven months reducing the numbers of families who are in temporary accommodation or homeless down by 245 households.

“Currently the figure for Peterborough stands at 327 households in temporary accommodation, which is about the same as in April 2018, but down from the high of 385 in November.

“During that time demand has increased enormously along with a growing population.”

The number of homeless presentations to the council has risen from 1,118 in 2014/15 to 1,504 in 2017/18. That number is now forecast to hit 2,224 this year, largely due to the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act last April which places extra responsibilities on authorities to support families at risk of homelessness.

Dave Anderson, council interim development director, said its joint partnership with Cross Keys Homes in housing venture Medesham Homes will see 34 families housed by the end of January, with 250 units built in total over the next two years. A further 50 properties are being bought on the open market and another 50 leased from private landlords.

The number of families being temporarily housed in B&B-type accommodation has also fallen from 164 in mid-2018 to 91. Mr Evans said it cost the council £1.5 million a year to have 100 families in this type of accommodation.

Cllr Ray Bisby said: “The commitment and good work that this team has shown in such a short time is a credit to the city council and the people of Peterborough.” Cllr Angus Ellis said: “I am enormously pleased to hear there are now no families in Travelodges and a huge reduction in those in B&B-type accommodation.”

The council has also formed the Homeless Advice and Support Team to help individuals receive accommodation, while its outreach team is doubling to have four officers.