Councillors have called on the Government to raise funding for placing homeless people in temporary hotel accommodation.

St Albans City and District councillors have demanded an increase in the housing benefit subsidy cap, which was passed unopposed at a full council meeting.

Like many other local authorities, the council has observed a rise in applications from those who are at risk of homelessness.



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With only a limited amount of temporary accommodation of its own, the council say that it may have no choice but to place people in hotel accommodation.

The cost of doing so this year was between £538 and £707 a week per person.

However, the subsidy maximum has been capped at £150 per week, causing the council to cover the difference, which ranges from £388 to £557 per week.

The projected cost for housing homeless people in temporary accommodation for this financial year is £272,740, almost three times the figure for 2022/23 at £96,113.

Next year’s net cost is expected to rise even further.

The housing benefit cap increase motion was initiated by Councillor Jacqui Taylor, lead for housing, and seconded by Councillor Paul de Kort, lead for resources.

Cllr Taylor said after the meeting: "We are standing with other Councils in asking the Government to take action to ease the financial burden that has fallen on local authorities.

"There has been a cross-party consensus among Councillors across the country about the need for the housing benefit cap to be raised by a substantial amount.

"It has not gone up since 2011 and is quite unrealistic.

"We have no control over the demand for temporary accommodation, which is increasing alarmingly and do not get enough financial support to deal with it.

She added: "We are asking the Chancellor to allocate appropriate funds to help cover our costs and until he does, we will continue to lobby with other Councils on the issue."

The motion was unanimously approved at the full council meeting on Wednesday, February 28 with 42 councillors voting in favour, none against, and two abstaining.