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Hundreds of people in Tameside stuck in temporary accommodation

Hundreds of people across Tameside are stuck in temporary accommodation – and 41 families have been living in bed and breakfasts for over six weeks.

The scale of the housing problem in the Greater Manchester borough is laid bare in a council report. There were 340 households in temporary accommodation at the end of May. There’s a struggle to find homes to put them in. 

Many were recorded as staying in bed and breakfast or nightly paid accommodation – at the taxpayer’s cost. 

A scutinty panel meting was told there are 1,078 ‘active’ households on the housing waiting list. Council data reveals there are 464 households in Band One – those with the most serious need of three bands. In the last financial year, only 283 social housing lets were put through. 

The borough – like many across the region – faces a shortfall of accessible and affordable accommodation, with an increase in complex cases including larger families.

There are also issues with recruitment and retention of experienced staff; and the knock-on effects of the cost of living crisis. 

One homeless person, councillors were told, had to wait two hours on the phone trying to get through to someone to help. 

An action plan has been drawn up by the town hall’s housing team, including three key areas of focus – an ambition to redesign and restructure the housing service; review the current accommodation and increase access to supply; and make sure contractors are more compliant. 

If demand is not met, the council could face a steep increase in the numbers of rough sleepers and a rise in the cost of temporary accommodation. 

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Steven Barton said he has seen council houses left empty for around nine months after being vacated. 

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