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Labour: Wycombe on verge of housing crisis
WYCOMBE is teetering on the precipice of a major homeless crisis, the Labour party claims.
Increasing numbers of desperate families are coming to surgeries held by the group, Councillor Victoria Groulef said, as she berated the 'shabby' strategy of the Tory controlled authority.
Cllr Groulef, leader of the Wycombe Labour group, said in recent weeks about 20 families have come to her, including a man who is sleeping rough in a park.
She said: "These are people in a pretty bad state, who can't afford to pay rent or have lost their jobs.
“The housing situation in Wycombe is becoming really serious and it's only going to get worse the number of caseloads we are now getting is massive.
“There are families with kids who are on their knees and it breaks my heart, it's getting dreadfully bad.”
Labour said that the quarterly figures for bed-and-breakfast being used by Wycombe District Council is still going up and many of those are being relocated Slough because it is cheaper.
Cllr Groulef said: "They need a holistic approach to tackle the problem."
She labelled councils current strategy strategy 'shabby' for what she described as some of the most vulnerable people in society.
WDC's Cabinet approved a feasibility study on a new approach to temporary housing in July.
Spokesman Sue Robinson said: “In line with all the expert guidance there is a pressing obligation to make effective use of all available housing assets in order and this has been our focus.
“It has enabled us to avoid having to utilise emergency bed and breakfast accommodation where families have to share kitchen and bathroom facilities with others and are located outside the district with all the disruption for work, family ties and schooling which that entails.
“The council is diligently meeting its responsibilities to house and support the homeless. We only utilise bed and breakfast as very short term emergency accommodation whilst we make arrangements for appropriate temporary accommodation.”
She confirmed four households are in bed and breakfasts currently in Slough, the nearest approved accommodation.
A homelessness review is under way, to be published in the new year.