Councils rehousing families outside local area, Shelter warns

According to research conducted by Shelter, a number of councils are unlawfully moving homeless families into temporary accommodation outside their own boroughs.

The investigations has revealed that nearly half of all newly homeless households have been temporarily relocated outside their local areas, in the last year, making it difficult for families to access schools and healthcare services.

The study collated information through a series of Freedom of Information requests (FoI) and found that 25 per cent of homeless households were sent to live in a non-neighbouring borough, with one in ten households relocated out of London altogether.

Shelter maintained that while it may be lawful for councils to temporarily relocate people outside their own district, they must move them as close to their local area as possible and explain why an out of area location is being resorted to.

Nonetheless, the charity found that only half of London’s councils which responded to the FoI, were able to provide written copies of their allocation policies, including the suitability of out of area placements.

Such families which were relocated out of their local areas claimed the move made it harder to access essential services such as children’s schools and hospital appointments. The research concluded that a ‘chronic’ lack of affordable housing, welfare reforms, and cuts to council budgets were making it harder for councils to accommodate homeless families in their local areas.