Council sees homeless numbers increase over summer months

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 6:24pm

By Elgan Hearn - Local Democracy Reporter

Numbers of homeless people in Powys went up between July and September this year, and a senior councillor wants to know why this is the case.

In Powys County Council’s Economy, Residents and Communities scrutiny committee, councillors discussed the council’s performance report for the second quarter of 2021/22.

The data showed that the number of of homeless cases that the council is dealing with, has risen by 82 in the second quarter of the year, compared to the first quarter which runs from April to the end of June.

This includes the number of households living in temporary and bed and breakfast accommodation.

Committee chairman, Cllr Mathew Dorrance said:  “For the second quarter in a row it’s been an incredibly poor performance.

“It does indicate that the options to rehouse are limited due to the constriction of the private rented sector and the high demand for one bedroom accommodation which is not available.

“But that’s not solely come around because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We should have been able to forecast that in our housing needs assessment and plans for some time.

“I accept that responding to that demand it takes time to build houses and bring accommodation on stream, but none the less we have a responsibility to provide housing.”

Cllr Dorrance asked: “What plan is there to close the gap and make sure accommodation is provided?”

The council’s director of economy and environment, Nigel Brinn said: “It’s not a new issue but it has certainly been heightened and exacerbated due to covid.”

He added that he would come back to the committee with a more detailed answer.

The performance report for quarter two 2021/22 was noted and approved by the cabinet at their meeting on November 23.

The report had revealed that the overall performance of the council had dropped from quarter one to two with only 33 per cent of the public accountability measures (PAMs) on target, down from 42 per cent.

But the council had been working in emergency  mode and re-started it’s business continuity plan  – concentrating on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic – for a large part of quarter two.

The report shows that there were:

401 live homeless cases – up from 319.
The number of households in temporary accommodation was 189 – up from 174.
The  number of households in Bed and Breakfast’s (B&B) was 23 – up from 21.
The number of known rough sleepers was 11 – up from 4.
The council successfully housed 45 homeless households down from  54 in quarter one.

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