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A pilot scheme that provides dedicated temporary accommodation for larger families that may be facing homelessness is under way in Redditch.

Redditch Borough Council has a statutory duty to temporarily house people who have made a homelessness application while their application is being considered.

This may mean a room in a local bed and breakfast, but B&Bs can be an unsuitable and expensive option, particularly for larger families who may have to wait while appropriate temporary housing becomes available.

To help with that, the borough council has partnered with non-profit housing provider Cornerstone Partnership for a pilot scheme that gives the council access to units of housing specifically for temporarily housing larger families during a homelessness application.

The move is part of a wider review of how the council meets its duty to provide temporary accommodation, amidst a rise in homelessness applications from families and the risk that applications may rise further in the future owing to ongoing cost of living pressures.

Redditch Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Craig Warhurst, said: “Most of the council’s work in this area is helping people who find themselves in difficulty to avoid homelessness in the first place, but unfortunately that’s not always possible, and then we have a duty to temporarily house those who have made a homelessness application.

“It’s not like allocating council housing, there must be suitable temporary accommodation available, and we’ve identified that more and better provision is needed for families. That’s why we’re running this pilot scheme with Cornerstone, which is being monitored closely as part of a review of all temporary accommodation provision this year. We need appropriate, cost-effective solutions.”

Cornerstone Partnership works with councils and charities to provide opportunities to access high quality, sustainable and affordable homes.

Council Leader, Cllr Matt Dormer, added: “Meeting rising demand for council services, particularly with the current cost of living, is a real challenge and our housing services are no different. We have to plan for the future while ensuring our services meet residents’ needs today.”