Councillors push for extra £250k support for people in temporary housing

An extra £250,000 is needed to help support people living in temporary housing.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council Housing and New Homes Committee agreed today (Wednesday 16 January) to ask for the money to be allocated as part of the council’s budget-setting process.

The money would go towards a support service similar to the one that was cut in 2015 as part of budget savings by the previous Green administration, a detail established by Labour councillor Julie Cattell.

Currently two welfare officers have been supporting people to help them manage in difficult times.

Green councillor David Gibson said: “It is a shame the previous support was cut. It alerts us to the dangers of cutting support services

“It brings us to the point where we are trying to undo that.”

He urged the council to spend the £250,000 on allowing people to travel to see friends and use laundrettes, to combat loneliness and lack of facilities.

Councillor Gibson quoted a resident of Kendal Court, in Newhaven, who has to take the bus to Seaford to use a laundrette, saying: “This makes me feel that the council has no regard for me, that I am almost a non-person not entitled to the dignity of being able to wash my clothes at home.”

Conservative councillor Mary Mears opposed the request. She said: “We can look at it again. We do not know if we might need to put more money into support services.

“I believe in support services for people in emergency and temporary accommodation is a good thing.”

Brighton and Hove currently has 1,700 households currently in emergency and temporary accommodation.

Most of these are in longer-term temporary accommodation which are good quality houses and flats and they generally have relatively lower or no support needs. Emergency accommodation is very basic.

There are about 400 households in emergency accommodation of which approximately 125 are outside of the city.

About 10 per cent of all people in temporary accommodation are on the waiting lists for supported accommodation.

Councillors voted unanimously to ask for the money. The request will go to the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee, which is due to meet at Hove Town Hall at 4pm on Thursday 24 January.

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