Big rise in Monmouthshire homeless figures

South Wales Argus: Big rise in Monmouthshire homeless figures Big rise in Monmouthshire homeless figures

Monmouthshire Council received more than double the number of applications from homeless households for 2011-12 than in 2009-10.

For the period 2009-10 the local authority received 150 homeless applications, which rose to 200 in 2010-11 and shot up to 360 for 2011-12.

In an economic and development select committee meeting recently members were presented with the revenue budget forecast statement for 2012-13 quarter one.

The report showed the council is estimating a £80,000 overspend on homelessness as an increase in demand has put pressure on the service budget of £30,000.

Additionally the service has to fund the cost of the housing register at £50,000, for which there is no budget provision.

A Monmouthshire Council spokesperson said: “Our homeless applications have increased considerably over the last year or so, mainly because of the number of households who have lost rented accommodation.

“The current homeless demand is compounded by the shortage of social housing in the county.

“Increasingly the council is having to use bed and breakfast to assist households, particularly of single persons.”

Cllr Armand Watts said: “For two years on the trot the council has performed worse than before when people present themselves as homeless.

There is a housing crisis in Monmouthshire but the authority doesn’t appear to be responding appropriately, which is causing a lot of heartache for some people.”

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