A new approach to homelessness - statement

A row of typical terraced homes in England

At this week's Cabinet meeting, a report will propose a new approach to homelessness, to maximise the opportunities to residents to secure affordable accommodation. This comes as pressures increase on temporary and affordable housing in the borough.

Commenting on the report, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Housing, Cllr George Savva, said:
“Supporting our residents to access good quality housing is an absolute priority for Enfield Council.

“Londoners are suffering acutely because of the cost-of-living crisis and housing crisis, that have become much worse in recent months and are resulting in rising numbers of households becoming homeless. Boroughs like Enfield are being disproportionately affected by the latest turbulence in the economy because we are more reliant on the private rented sector and landlords are leaving the market due to rising interest rates.

“The government has failed to develop a plan for housebuilding across the country and despite high numbers of affordable houses being delivered across London by councils, demand is outstripping supply.

“Furthermore, in Enfield and elsewhere in London, local housing allowance does not cover average rents and the government is failing to act. As a result, there are simply not enough appropriate and affordable properties available locally, meaning we are having to place increasing numbers of homeless households in hotels.

“Temporary accommodation is an important safety net for emergencies, but it is not a long-term solution.

“Therefore, we have no alternative but to follow the approach of many other local authorities and help find homeless households decent, stable homes in affordable areas outside of London.  We will assist people to move with practical solutions. Our lobbying of the government to urgently address the rental and housing crises will continue.

“Our plans for homelessness in Enfield and affordable accommodation will be discussed and decided on at the Cabinet meeting on 7 June and are subject to call in.”

The full report can be found in the Cabinet papers for Wednesday, 7 June 2023.

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