MORE than a hundred families are now being accommodated in temporary housing in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.

The numbers are rising – mainly because of an increase in private rental evictions which have soared by more than 200 per cent in the past year.

Of the 230 households current in B&B or hotel accommodation in the area, a hundred are families, with average stays of eight weeks, although some stay much longer, often because of limited availability of larger properties.

National homeless legislation says that the longest maximum stay in B&B or hotel accommodation should be no longer than six weeks.

The cost of B&B and hotel accommodation in the council area has been put at £4million for 2022/23 with a quarter of the sum recoverable from housing benefits or universal credit - and a prediction of increasing pressure on budgets in the coming years, unless the problem can be tackled.

BCP council, in a report, says that priority is given to families with more children or where there are additional needs with any household member.

In the past year, overall homelessness enquiry demand has increased by 19% and overall temporary accommodation use has increased by 23% involving just under 600 households in the period.

Councillors will be told that the authority owns, of has private lease agreements, for 142 properties, both furnished and un-furnished, which can be used for temporary accommodation and 43 rooms in hostels where kitchens and bathroom facilities are shared.

In 2022-23 the average stay in self-contained temporary homes was 65 weeks and 8 weeks in shared hostels.

The report says that the ending of private rented tenancies, most commonly due to landlord sale or where the landlord intends to return to live in the property, is the primary factor in local homelessness. Family and friend breakdown is the secondary key cause.

Housing team staff have predicted that to end the use of B&B 230 new homes would be needed with more than a hundred in addition in the immediate years to meet forecasted demand.

A report to the Place Overview and Scrutiny committee on Wednesday July 19th says that despite the challenges, households where interventions have prevented homelessness has increased by 5%.

It says that those experiencing homelessness “face significant health inequalities and poorer health outcomes than the rest of the population”, one of the main reasons for wanting to urgently tackle the problem.

The council is one of six areas in the UK to be taking part in a five-year programme, called “Homewards” which is designed to end homelessness.