HC Deb 22 June 1971 vol 819 cc1185-7
27. Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much temporary accommodation at the initial stage of reception is at the present time provided by county councils and county boroughs in England and Wales, respectively, for whole families, including fathers and elder children as well as exclusively for mothers and younger children; and

Number of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation provided by County Councils and County Borough Councils in England at 31st December each year
County Councils
1966 1967 1968 1969 1970*
Families with man, woman and child or children
(a) in family accommodation† 307 489 606 723 745
(b) in communal accommodation 16 24 16 20 40
Total 323 513 622 743 785
Families with only woman and child or children
(a) in family accommodation† 147 174 188 209 252
(b) in communal accommodation 27 27 27 26 42
Total 174 201 215 235 294
Total of all families 497 714 837 978 1,079

how this provision has changed over the last five years.

Mr. Dean

Information in the precise form asked for is not available. I will however, if I may, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT figures showing separately the numbers of complete and incomplete families living in family accommodation and communal accommodation at the end of each of the last five years.

Mr. Meacher

Will the Minister issue a circular to all local housing authorities reminding them of the powers of the Supplementary Benefits Commission under Section 25 of the Ministry of Social Security Act, 1966, to insist on the provision of temporary accommodation for the homeless, and not merely provide the homeless with money to rent accommodation that is not available? Since the incidence of homelessness is rising so fast, will he use this provision as a means of pushing up the present unreasonably low level of temporary accommodation?

Mr. Dean

I will gladly look at those points, but I would again stress that my right hon. Friend's working party is looking at this whole area at present.

Following is the information:

County Borough Councils
Families with man, woman and child or children 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970*
(a) in family accommodation† 237 296 466 524 572
(b) in communal accommodation 5 13 6 6 7
Total 242 309 472 530 579
Families with only woman and child or children
(a) in family accommodation† 133 128 170 215 235
(b) in communal accommodation 52 34 28 35 57
Total 185 162 198 250 292
Total of all families 427 471 670 780 871
* Includes families without children or only with children over 16 years of age.
† "Family accommodation" is accommodation where families both cater for themselves and sleep in a family unit.