Help for homeless households

New temporary accommodation for homeless households in Bath & North East Somerset is being prepared.

Rising rental costs and the cost of living, combined with increased evictions from private rented accommodation has led to an increase in the number of households presenting to the council as homeless or about to lose their home. To meet this pressure, several council-owned properties are being re-developed to provide appropriate supported accommodation.

The properties will offer a temporary solution for households that have become homeless, often at short notice, and where the council has a duty to accommodate them. Residents will stay in the accommodation while they are assessed and supported pending a move to a permanent home. Most residents usually only stay a few months before moving on.

Work has started onsite on the first two properties which are both in Bath. The first will offer temporary homes for 11 households and a second property will be able to house three households.

Councillor Tom Davies, cabinet member for Council House Building, said: “I’m delighted that work is progressing well on these two properties, they represent a valuable part of the council’s B&NES Homes housing programme. When complete they will allow us to offer wider options to homeless households. We’ve achieved a lot, particularly with our Council House Building Programme that includes Newbridge Hill in Bath, the first socially rented properties built for the council in nearly three decades. They are now ready for tenants to move into.”

The temporary accommodation will be managed directly by Housing Services, led by a dedicated manager. The properties will be run in parallel with other temporary accommodation, including 26 units that are currently commissioned through Curo Housing.

With an upward trend in the use of temporary accommodation in B&NES, the new properties will help to reduce the use of unsuitable and expensive B&B accommodation that is used in emergencies when all other commissioned accommodation is full. This B&B accommodation is often located outside the B&NES area, where it is harder to support families who have been made homeless.