2,000 Birmingham households moved out of the city because of housing crisis

2,000 Birmingham households moved out of the city because of housing crisis

Almost 2,000 Birmingham households have been moved out of the city by the council because there’s not enough social housing.

Most have been sent to nearby towns such as Dudley or Bromsgrove, but some have gone as far away as Manchester, Milton Keynes or Leicester.

The figures, released to website HuffPost via a Freedom of Information request, show 1,972 households were moved to temporary accommodation outside the city, usually “bed and breakfasts”, in the past five years.

And they show that the problem is getting worse.

In 2013-14, just 81 households were put up in temporary accommodation outside Birmingham. But the total rose to 1,191 in 2017-18.

The response also reveals how all but 77 of the 1,972 households housed outside Birmingham over the last five years were placed in B&Bs, rather than in the private rental sector.

There are 9,000 households on Birmingham City Council’s housing waiting list.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, told HuffPost: “These shocking figures are another painful reminder of our worsening housing crisis.

“At Shelter we see first-hand the devastating impact on homeless families who’ve been forced to abandon jobs, schools, and vital support networks to move miles away.

“Hit by budget cuts and a chronic lack of affordable homes, overstretched councils are struggling to keep homeless families within their local communities. But despite this they must still consider every family’s needs before they uproot people’s entire lives and cause yet more trauma.”



MP Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips (Lab), MP for Birmingham Yardley, said: “I’ve had families sent to Burton-on-Trent, we have families of seven living in one room in motorway service stations.

“The reality is we need more homes or to use the millions we spend on unsupported dirty accommodation to fund decent organisations and decent temporary accommodation.”

Birmingham City Council says it carries out “prevention and relief work” for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days, and has established its own house building programme to build thousands of properties.

Robert James, director of housing at Birmingham City Council, said: “Working closely with its partner organisations, the council is fully committed to meeting the responsibilities it has to its citizens and is doing everything that it can to meet these obligations.

“However, Birmingham City Council currently has over 2,000 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.

“While there is a shortage of social housing everywhere, the council fully intends to provide help and as much support wherever possible to people in Birmingham.”

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