Moray’s homeless spending more time in temporary accommodation

Moray CouncilHomeless people in Moray spent a total of 51,560 days in temporary accommodation last year – an increase of more than 3000 days on the previous year.

Moray Council’s communities committee were told this week that the council and its homelessness partners currently have more than 150 units of temporary accommodation available for homeless households, ranging from council houses to privately run hostels and refuge accommodation for women.

But even then 68 households – mainly single people – had to be put up in bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

Although their average stay was relatively short at seven days, a report to the committee said the need to use B&B accommodation demonstrated the ongoing pressures faced by the council in matching supply with demand.

Councillors were told that reconfiguring the types of temporary accommodation available for homeless individuals and families would continue in the current year.

Last year there had not only been an increase in demand for temporary accommodation and an increase in the number of days spent there, it had also not been possible to quickly replace 10 units which had been decommissioned at a privately-run homeless hostel.

“As a consequence of all these factors, the council had no alternative but to use bed-and-breakfast accommodation to meet its legal duties,” said the report.

It continued: “The changing nature of homelessness now requires a greater degree of flexibility in determining the number of units that are required to meet the needs of homeless households.”

Members of the committee were told that more details would be provided in the annual report on homelessness due to be presented in November – but the fact that more households were in need of temporary accommodation was an area of obvious concern.

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