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Bromley's 3,000 'imminently homeless' people

Homeslessness is on the increase

Homeslessness is on the increase

Archant

Some 3,000 people are ­facing ''imminent homelessness'' because of a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the borough, according to a shocking council report.

There are 8,000 families on Bromley’s housing register, with around 440 new applications each month.

And the future looks bleak as the council admitted ­single people in lower priority bands may face homelessness in forthcoming years as their chances of being housed are “between slim and nil”.

Council officers are inundated and spending “a large amount of time” dealing with councillors and MPs on behalf of constituents who need re-housing or to appeal against their banding.

Most who have been made homeless have fallen behind on rent or mortgages and cannot stay with friends or family.

The council is trying to use lease providers who guarantee deposits to properties to entice the private sector into ­accepting social housing residents. But the market rate is higher than the highest rate available under the government housing benefit cap.

The report, which was due to be discussed by councillors on Tuesday evening, states: “Lease providers Orchard and Simpson and Hyde & Avenue are experiencing immense difficulty in ­acquiring properties from the private sector ­despite ­offers to the highest level within the new rules.”

Sandy Greenfield, who runs the borough’s only homelessness scheme, the 5,000 Project said: “There is a stigma ­attached to DSS. ­People should remember these were your work ­colleagues last week before they lost their jobs.”

The council predicts it will have overspent on its temporary accommodation budget by £305,000 by the end of the year as it homes people in B&Bs. It costs up to £400 per week to house one family. There are 169 families in B&Bs.

The 5,000 Project will hold a homeless awereness event on Saturday October 8 in Queens Gardens from 8.30am-5pm with stalls, competitions and games.

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