A TOWER block of flats in Coventry is set to be used to house homeless families as demand for temporary accommodation continues to soar.
Coventry City Council has approved initial plans to lease Caradoc Hall, Caradoc Close, Henley Green, for the next five years.
More than 100 properties are set to become available to the city’s homeless, which will cost the council £1.7million.
This is intended to ease some of the pressure on the council, which has spent more than £4million in 2017/18 on temporary housing including bed and breakfasts.
Spending has risen by almost eight times the £570,000 figure allocated in 2014/15 amid unprecedented demand.
The number of families (including pregnant couples) becoming homeless in the city has more than tripled, a council report states.
There were 150 registered homeless families in 2014/15 and this number has risen to 484.
The report considered by cabinet on Tuesday (November 27) shows there are nearly 150 homeless families with more than three children.
Tenants would be expected to pay utility costs such as heating bills while rental costs will be paid by the Salvation Army and the council.
Hotels and B&Bs are currently used by the council to house the city’s homeless but are not considered to be suitable for families.
The council says the accommodation will be more cost effective and more appropriate.
Savings of more than £1.2million a year could be possible, the council predicts.
The report to cabinet states: “Households that are homeless and meet the criteria for priority need, would be entitled to interim accommodation up to 56 days earlier than under the previous legislation, increasing the number of households that the authority places in B&B if no other suitable accommodation is found.”
Salvation Army figures show the number of registered homeless individuals has almost doubled, rising from 581 to 1,059.
The council has a legal obligation to provide temporary accommodation for homelessness households in priority need, with a local connection who have not ‘made themselves intentionally homeless’.
The properties could be available as early as next month, the council speculates.