THE number of people in temporary accommodation across Bournemouth has doubled over the past two years, it has been revealed.
Councillors were told at Tuesday’s full council meeting that 24 and 27 households respectively were in temporary accommodation at the end of June and September, 2013, compared to nine and 14 in the same months in 2012.
At the end of December 2013, 29 were in temporary homes.
The figures came to light after Labour member Cllr Beryl Baxter asked how many people in the borough had been placed into temporary accommodation as a result of changes in welfare benefits.
She also asked how many had been placed into bed and breakfasts in the past two years.
Cllr Nicola Greene, deputy leader of the council, said that around 400 households were put into B&Bs between April 2012 and this month, but the figure needed to be “taken in context as the time spent in this type of accommodation varies considerably”.
She said that, for example, some of the residents who were re-housed because of the recent flooding would fall into that category and the council also owned and managed its own homeless hostel in Kinson, to which a number of those in B&Bs were moved.
Cllr Greene revealed the figures and added: “At the end of December 2013, a total of 18 households were in bed and breakfast accommodation and a further 11 households were in the council’s temporary hostel – a total of 29 overall.”
She said homelessness had risen nationally and locally in the last few years.
“There are many reasons for people becoming homeless, such as landlords ending tenancies, family breakdowns or the result of fleeing violence.
“We are not aware of any recent cases of homelessness specifically caused by the welfare reform changes.
“However, the wider economic climate has no doubt impacted on this overall increase as people struggle to manage their finances.
“We continue to evolve our services to make sure we make best use of our available resources in order to respond to this.
“Both our housing allocations policy and our commitment to building more family homes are directed to address these concerns,” added Cllr Greene.