Coventry City Council is consulting on proposals that could see charging introduced for some households who are in temporary accommodation. A policy could be in place by April 2020.
A senior Coventry Councillor said that it is a policy that needed to be considered especially as the vast majority of local authorities in England ask for financial contributions to rent costs, energy and water bills, storage costs and Council Tax while people are in emergency accommodation. Currently, Coventry City Council pay for the best part of these charges.
With support from the Council’s newly re-commissioned support services, and evidence of regular payments under the new policy (if approved), households will develop the skills and experience needed to demonstrate they can hold down a permanent tenancy.
Cllr Tariq Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “We are consulting with agencies and local people to get views and comments on a proposal to introduce a consistent, fair and affordable way that residents who are in temporary accommodation will be charged while in the temporary accommodation.
“As a Council we have a homelessness prevention service in place and our first priority is to help people to stay in their existing home before they become homeless. We work alongside a range of other agencies to do this.
“We know that the vast majority of other local authorities do ask households to contribute to the costs if households need to be placed in temporary accommodation.”
If the policy is backed charging while in temporary accommodation may apply to:
Coventry City Council use a range of temporary accommodation solutions which has led to an inconsistent approach to utilities payments. Some people living in temporary accommodation already pay for the utilities they use whilst many don’t.
Coventry City Council currently pays £800,000 per year on utilities for people in temporary accommodation; the costs of storing furniture and other items costs the Council more than £160,000 per year; and rent subsidies cost the Council around £400,000 a year.