Birmingham housing crisis strands families miles away from home


No shortage of building sites, but not enough homes (photo by Elliott Brown)

Birmingham’s exploding housing crisis is forcing the Council to house some families more than a hundred miles from the city, according to new figures revealed today.

Birmingham City Council has had to house nearly 2,000 vulnerable families away from the city to cope with the growing housing crisis.

Data released to the Huffington Post showed people have been placed as far away as Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester, often in Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

The numbers of people requiring temporary accommodation has risen sharply in recent years: whilst the Council rehoused 81 households in 2013-14, that figure had risen to 1,191 by 2017-18 – that’s an increase of 1,300% increase over the last five years.

The Council released the figures in response to a freedom of information request.

Labour councillor John Cotton blamed the Conservative government’s policies:

Birmingham Labour MP Jess Phillips told the HuffPost she knew of one family of seven living in one room at a motorway service station.

The Council’s director of housing, Robert James, said in statement that they were committed to meeting its housing obligations:

“Birmingham City Council currently has 2,697 households in temporary accommodation, over 9,000 people on the housing register and just 3,000 properties to let.

“The housing crisis and access to council housing is a national issue and is affecting an unprecedented number of families and individuals across the region.”

70% of English local councils struggle to house homeless people, according to a report released in April by housing charity Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It said that 76% of councils in the Midlands had experienced and increase in the number of people seeking help from their homelessness services.


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