More than 300 homeless people living in Dundee B&Bs

Surge in demand for temporary housing during pandemic believed to have caused the reliance on B&Bs.

More than 300 homeless people living in Dundee B&Bs iStock

The number of homeless people waiting for housing in hotels and B&Bs in Dundee has reached more than 300.

In 2022/23, 305 people were living in this kind of accommodation while on Dundee City Council’s housing waiting list including 52 children.

Five years ago, the council did not use B&Bs at all but this has risen each year to the current figure.

There were 799 people housed in temporary accommodation across the city last year – including scatter flats and hostels.

The reliance on hostels and B&Bs has been called a “last resort”.

The number of people housed in this accommodation over the last five years is as follows:

2018/19: 0
2019/20: 10
2020/21: 283
2021/22: 253
2022/23: 30

Labour councillor Kevin Keenan said this type of temporary accommodation is unsuitable for families.

“It’s got to be a last resort,” he said. We’ve got to look to get these numbers down, the administration needs to look at how to get more homes.

“What spaces are there for family playtime and all the rest that would happen in a home?

“A B&B is not suitable.”

A surge in demand for temporary housing during the coronavirus pandemic is believed to have caused the reliance on B&Bs.

The number of people in overall temporary accommodation spiked to 956 in in 2020/21. This has since reduced to 799 in the last year.

How much has been spent on temporary accommodation?

Over the past five years, the council has spent just shy of £22m on temporary accommodation – with the coronavirus pandemic proving to be the most financially challenging year.

The amount spent each year is listed below:

2018/19: £3,490,810
2019/20: £3,743,892
2020/21: £5,222,435
2021/22: £4,598,936
2022/23: £4,824,583

Council reliance on B&Bs

The council hoped it would be able to slash its need for temporary accommodation by almost half – dropping from 309 units to 153.

This would be done by moving more people into permanent accommodation sooner.

This was initially set out in the council’s four-year Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan, which is now in its final year.

A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “We acknowledge that B&Bs are not an acceptable solution, and for many years in the city we did not need to use them.

“We have been working hard to reduce the reliance on B&Bs and will continue to do so.”

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