Leicester City Council to cut homeless beds

A homeless person asleep in a doorway.
Image caption The city council said they were confident the number of hostel beds would meet demand.

Accommodation for homeless families in Leicester will be cut under plans announced by the city council.

The authority said it was reducing the figure from 129 units to 70, but said it would focus more on preventing homelessness.

It said the current strategy was based around crisis and in many instances the council only dealt with people after they became homeless.

The move follows a public consultation on the city's homeless policy.

Assistant city mayor for housing, councillor Mohammed Dawood, said: "We have looked at the homeless service in great detail and have listened carefully to the views of those who help to provide it, as well as those who use it.

'Longer-term solutions'

"We believe these new proposals better suit the demand for the service.

"We are determined that the service should move away from the crisis culture we currently have in place to a more preventative service - reducing the need for hostel beds and finding longer-term solutions for people.

"We believe the support we are proposing for hostel beds will meet demand."

The proposal will go to the adult social care and housing scrutiny commission on 2 May before a final decision is made.

A decision on other planned changes to provision for homeless people, including single and young people, has been deferred until the summer.

The Reverend David Morris, who runs the Community of Grace hostel in the city, said the delay would put more pressure on homeless charities.

"It means we are still left in limbo," he said. "We are not going to hear any more about single [person] homelessness for a couple of months which is just not good enough."

The current annual budget for homeless services in the city is £6.6m.

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