Kettering sees spike in homeless households going to the council

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The number of households becoming homeless in Kettering is continuing to rise with 36 families in just seven days turning to the council for help last month.

On a now typical month the authority sees 80 homeless cases, a dramatic rise in the numbers for the same time last year.

Under the Homeless Reduction Act which came into force this Spring the authority has a duty to provide a roof over the head of the families and currently is housing 159 households in temporary accommodation.

This compares to 81 in March 2017.

The council says 87 per cent of those who have lost their homes have been given accommodation in Kettering borough with the remainder being housed in Wellingborough and one household in Luton and another in Dunstable.

Kettering Council’s head of housing John Conway told the councillors on the audit and monitoring committee last night (Tuesday) that the vast number of people were being made homeless due to the termination of their private rentals.

He said: “Typically we have 20 approaches each week, however that number was 36 a couple of weeks ago.

“We are not sure what the reason for that spike was.

“However the number of households in bed and breakfast has reduced as we are making more use of our stock.

“Our strategy is to acquire properties.”

The authority, which has 3,800 of its own homes, has recently bought 30 properties to use as temporary homes for those in need.

Homelessness is a growing national issue created by a combination of rising rents, stagnant wages and reduced benefits.

Local authorities are having to pick up the costs of the epidemic and for many local authorities in Northamptonshire the annual bill is now more than £1m.