Not desirable, certainly, but a first world problem, no?

More than 2,500 children are unlawfully accommodated in unsuitable bed and breakfast facilities in England, the latest official homelessness statistics suggest.

They show that 1,300 households with children were resident in B&Bs for longer than six weeks at the end of September, a 24% year-on-year increase.

Councils are obliged by law to avoid placing families in B&Bs except as a last resort, and then for no longer than six weeks. B&Bs lack space, privacy and often do not contain cookery and laundry facilities.

The number of children sleeping rough because of a lack of even a B&B is what? Something around and about zero?

Not suggesting that the current system is perfect, by no means, but we have rather licked the major problem here, haven’t we? We’re at the tidying up the rough edges stage of trying to beat homelessness, no?

15 comments on “Not desirable, certainly, but a first world problem, no?

  1. We’re at the tidying up the rough edges stage of trying to beat homelessness, no?

    Well no. This is the leading edge of family break down in the UK. There is no sign of this slowing down or becoming less serious. On the contrary, it seems to be ever growing and the level of break down is getting worse and worse.

    Essentially White people are following the path trod by America’s Blacks – to 70-80% illegitimacy rates, violent crime and so on.

    We have not beaten this problem. A shrinking pool of normal middle class tax payers is being milked to pay for an ever growing pool of feckless underclass children born to parents utterly unable to begin to cope with real life.

  2. Charles Dickens is spinning in his grave because of how Britain has fallen in its treatment of the poor since his days.

  3. “The chief executive of the charity Homeless Link, Rick Henderson, said: “The growing number of households being placed in temporary accommodation is extremely concerning. This insecure and often poor standard accommodation not only comes at a cost to the public purse…”

    Can he think of a solution that doesn’t..?

  4. B&Bs lack space, privacy and often do not contain cookery and laundry facilities.

    However, on further investigation our correspondent found that B&Bs have a roof, beds, lighting, heating, running hot and cold water, a flush toilet, a shower, and security.

  5. Homeless children? I can think of four, some people I have met have worked with dozens in their area (Stoke). Cannot see our areas as being the only ones with homeless under 16s.

    They cannot access the regular services, they cannot deal with the established agencies and they prefer homelessness to being in the clutches of social services – who are often the problem for the children.

    However you won’t find councils sticking those children in B&B.
    You will find councils sticking families who have lost their house in a B&B – repossession, evicted by landlord, kicked out by boyfriend etc.

  6. “laundry facilities”? For three years in Hong Kong and six months in Aberdeenshire that was a called “a sink”. You’re saying these B&Bs don’t have a sink?

  7. @jgh

    Good point. That was first year in uni for me.

    Washing machines save time. Important if you are short of time, but that shortage is a symptom of having a job.

  8. As a resident of the great ole U S of A, can somebody enlighten me here? Does this mean that Mr. and Mrs. B are running a B&B in order to have a bit of additional money and because they like the companionship of people who have similar interests to theirs (which is why people run B&Bs here in the US in places with seasonal attractions, such as the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshires), and suddenly the state comes around and requisitions a room to house a homeless family? Can the owner of the B&B say, No thanks, I’d rather not get the money, not if it means I have to accommodate a bunch of people who have shown that they’re not able to keep a roof over their heads in the first place?

    And if that is the case, how come nobody here complained about this to begin with? Have you so internalized the idea that the state owns your property and can tell you what to do with it?

  9. Hedgehog–There is no compulsion other than the liking-for-cash kind.

    B&Bs/guesthouses got their start when the working classes started to get paid holidays–usually a week a year–in the late 19th century. Many were in British seaside resorts and were cheaper than hotels which were out of the range of working class folk. Some were nice and others grim–a staple of British humour for years.

  10. There are B&Bs and B&Bs. There are the holiday kind, which can be in essence a very boutique hotel, and there are the kind that house the homeless, just a very low quality hotel. If your hotel is so awful that not even the poorest would voluntarily chose it, the homeless market is where you have fallen. And, having fallen that far it is very difficult to rise above it, normal people will not chose a hotel that houses the homeless.

  11. Tim Newman>

    Security? Doubtful.

    jgh, Cynic>

    Laundry facilities include somewhere to dry clothes as well. That’s probably not something that comes easily with extra beds being crammed into a room so as to house a family.

    Martin>

    “They cannot access the regular services, they cannot deal with the established agencies and they prefer homelessness to being in the clutches of social services – who are often the problem for the children.”

    Spot on. If I remember rightly, something like 50% of kids who grow up in care try sleeping rough for at least a few weeks.

  12. “Laundry facilities include somewhere to dry clothes as well. ”

    It’s called a Launderette. Drying clothes indoors it causes damp. The ‘damp’ which gets blamed on the wicked landlord.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.