HC Deb 11 January 1993 vol 216 cc649-50W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to visit the homeless in(a) London and (b) Folkestone during the Christmas period.

Mr. Howard

I have visited and met homeless people in the past, and did so again during the Christmas period. But in general I do not consider it appropriate to publicise such visits.

Both Ministers and officials from this Department make regular visits to projects throughout England which give practical help to homeless people, with financial support from the Government.

Mr. Alison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cost to local authorities in England and Wales of providing bed-and-breakfast accommodation for those families officially registered as homeless in 1990–91 and 1991–92.

Mr. Baldry

The final estimate of the net cost to local authorities of providing bed-and-breakfast accommodation to homeless households in England in 1990–91 was £66.6 million. Information for 1991–92 is not yet available.

For information about Wales, I refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the total number of homeless households recorded as living in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in each of the following years: 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Mr. Baldry

Estimates for calendar years of the average number of households who were being dealt with under the homelessness provisions of the Housing Act 1985 and were temporarily placed in bed-and-breakfast accommodation are as follows:

Average for year ending December Households in bed and breakfast
1989 11,500
1990 11,810
1991 12,470

For the year ending September 1992 the average number of households in bed and breakfast accommodation had fallen to 11,880.