A former tenant at a temporary accommodation facility in Buckinghamshire has accused the council of 'wasting taxpayer's money' amid news that £6 million was spent on housing homeless people in the county this year. 

A former tenant at the Buckingham Hotel on West Wycombe Road in High Wycombe, who described the council-owned temporary housing facility as "flea-infested" and "unhygienic", has accused Buckinghamshire Council of "wasting taxpayer's money" after it emerged that the council spent over £6 million on temporary housing in the year up to March 2023.

The resident, who requested anonymity but confirmed that they have a small child, told the Free Press in September that they "didn't feel safe" in the hotel, where they were allocated upon registering as homeless after failing to secure a private rental for income-related reasons. 

They have now commented on new figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which show that a total of £8,535,000 was spent on temporarily housing the homeless in Buckinghamshire in the year to March.

Of this, £6,112,000 was covered by the council.

The tenant, who has now been moved to a different temporary housing facility in Aylesbury, said: “The council is trying to make a point about what is spent on helping homeless people, but if those facilities aren’t regularly inspected and maintained, then they’re wasting taxpayer’s money.

“Many people who haven’t lived under these circumstances will tell us to be grateful for having a roof over our heads but making someone – especially a baby – live in a place that has a flea infestation is not acceptable.

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“It should be the council’s responsibility to ensure that every temporary accommodation meets health and safety regulations and to treat every homeless person as someone who is deserving of this.”

Three other tenants at the Buckingham Hotel spoke exclusively to the Free Press in September, describing the “disgusting” state of the accommodation which they believed was negatively impacting their health and that of young children on the premises.

Saunderton Lodge on Wycombe Road, another temporary housing facility in High Wycombe also overseen by the council, similarly came under fire from tenants in October who detailed the property’s “vermin” and “damp and mould” problems.

Mark Winn, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing & Regulatory Services, said: "Homelessness and demand for temporary accommodation has been rising both nationally and locally. This has resulted in a continuous increase in the number of people that we have a statutory duty to place in temporary accommodation, hence the £6 million spend in the year up to March 2023. 

“Buckingham Hotel in High Wycombe is not owned by the council but is one of our temporary accommodation providers. 

“If a tenant is experiencing any issues with their placement, they should contact their housing officer, who will be able to support them.”