Aberdeen City Council’s temporary accommodation spending tops £7m

Aberdeen City council (2)Aberdeen City Council has spent more than £7 million on temporary accommodation for homeless people over the last year, the Evening Express has reported.

The figures obtained in a Freedom of Information request show that £7.3m was spent placing homeless people in temporary accommodation in the city for the year 2016/17.

It is down on last year where the local authority spent £7.9m on accommodation. However, both figures are an increase on 2012/13 when the amount paid was £5.5m.

Meanwhile, the number of applicants entering temporary accommodation for 2016/17 was 1,080. The year before it was 1,427.

Councillor Jackie Dunbar said: “It is concerning to see such large sums being spent on temporary accommodation but we do have to remember that this reflects how many people in our city have had their lives affected by homelessness.

“We have a duty, both statutory and moral, to look after people when they find themselves being made homeless and it is absolutely right we spend money to ensure that they have a warm place to stay and get back on their feet.

“At a time when the local economy is struggling and out-of-work welfare is being cut it’s more important than ever that the council can help those most in need.

“Nevertheless, I do believe that the council can do more to help by drawing up a strategy for eradicating homelessness in our city and that part of that should involve looking into a ‘Housing First’ approach. I hope that the administration will include addressing homelessness in the policy plans they are soon to bring forward so that we can all work together to resolve this issue.”

Councillor Ian Yuill said the failure to provide affordable homes over the last five years “has made the situation much, much worse”.