Cash-strapped councils resort to handing out tents to homeless after Rishi U-turns on Braverman's controversial plans

Homeless tents

It comes after the former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: 'we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents'

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 27/11/2023

- 08:39

It comes as there has been an 'exodus of people' from the private sector

Cash-strapped councils have resorted to handing out tents to people who have been made homeless due to the cost of living crisis as they struggle to find temporary accommodation options.

It comes as local government officials estimate the economic situation was fuelling extra demand for temporary accommodation.

"More and more people are turning to councils to support," Chairman of the Local Government Association Shaun Davies told Times Radio.

"We’re seeing an exodus of people in the private rented sector who are coming to councils for support. There’s no council in the country that has an empty stock of temporary accommodation."

Tents in London

It comes as councils are turning to using tents in extreme cases


It comes as councils were increasingly using hotels, which the Home Office uses to house migrants, B&Bs and "in the most extreme cases, tents" to meet demand.

Davies added: "Up and down the country, particularly for single men for whom the rules are slightly different, often tents will be the temporary accommodation that councils have to issue.

"The Home Office is spending £8million a day housing people in hotels. Around 70 per cent of those in hotels will have their applications processed.

"If the application is granted, at that point, homelessness services falls [to] the local authority."


Suella Braverman

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman's plans were shelved


He added: "Even where applications are refused, we’re seeing those people turn to councils as destitute, whilst they wait to be removed from the country.

"This is a huge, huge issue."

"What that is doing is passing the cost from the government through general taxation to local taxpayers. There’s no transparency."

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was contacted for a comment.

It comes after former Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s plans for a crackdown on the use of tents by homeless people were shelved.

Her announcement that homelessness was a "lifestyle choice" for some was met with backlash from homeless charities and fellow Tory MPs.

Homeless charity organisation Shelter released a statement in opposition to the former Home Secretary's comments.

It read: "Let's make it clear: living on the streets is not a 'lifestyle choice' - it is a sign of failed Government policy."

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