Less money is being spent on providing bed and breakfast for St Albans’ homeless

The back of the Premier Inn in St Albans

The back of the Premier Inn in St Albans - Credit: Archant

There has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of money being spent on providing bed and breakfast for homeless people.

In March last year, the Herts Advertiser revealed that thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money was being used to temporarily accommodate homeless people in the newly built £8.1 million Premier Inn hotel in St Albans city centre.

Because of the district council’s difficulty in providing accommodation for the burgeoning number of homeless people, there was a more than tenfold increase in spending on temporary accommodation - including in the likes of the Premier Inn.

At a recent full council meeting, Cllr Katherine Gardner asked for an update on how much had been spent on bed and breakfast over the past two years.

The portfolio holder for housing Cllr Brian Ellis said that in 2014/15, £121,703 had been spent on B&B accommodation, and that this had dropped to £54,381 so far this municipal year.

After the meeting Cllr Ellis said that while the number of homeless people had “continued to rise and has peaked before Christmas we were able to accommodate people in sheltered housing, which has been awaiting re-development.

“Although we would prefer not to spend money on bed and breakfast accommodation, there are situations where there is no other option, for example if someone is fleeing from domestic violence.”