First homes secured for homeless scheme

Rough Sleeper black and white
Image: Ben_Kerckx/Pixabay

Bedford Borough Council has secured the first thirteen homes under a new scheme to ensure a supply of temporary accommodation for people who are homeless.

Speaking about the scheme Cllr Phillippa Martin-Moran-Bryant (Conservative), Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services said; “I am delighted that we have secured these houses for families experiencing homelessness thanks to expenditure from the Council.

“This is an important step on the journey of improving how we support residents who are homeless in our Borough.

“The homes we have bought and the ones we are buying will allow people a place to settle during a difficult part of their lives, until a longer-term housing solution is found.

“These first thirteen homes bring the start of a quality journey for our residents in need and as an important added benefit a more cost-effective way for the council to deliver temporary accommodation, now and in the future.

“It marks a huge milestone in the council’s ongoing efforts to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping and provide essential assistance to individuals and families.

“This property acquisition scheme is just part of our strategy to transform the Housing Service at Bedford Borough Council which includes the recent recruitment of 22 new staff and an investment in vital equipment such as new IT software to better manage cases.

“Our plans to purchase more property to use as temporary accommodation is just one of many actions we are taking to tackle the housing crisis.”

Bedford’s Liberal Democrats have also applauded the development but warned that tackling homelessness must remain a priority.

Lib Dem leader cllr Henry Vann said: “The rise in homelessness is a real concern, so it is good news that the council is continuing our initiative to purchase more properties itself for temporary accommodation for people facing a housing crisis.

“However, this shouldn’t hide the fact that rough sleeping is increasing with the Conservatives in charge at Borough Hall, their change in policy has meant many more people are now having to sleep rough without a roof over their head.

“Official figures show an increase from 2 to 18 people sleeping rough.”