Government to ban B&B use for families over six weeks

A ban on placing homeless families with children in bed and
breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks will come into
force next year, writes Natasha

From April 2004, new legislation will give families the power to
take councils to court if they are placed in a B&B for more
than six weeks.

The government also wants to improve standards of temporary
accommodation and ensure homeless families receive support to
access relevant health, education and social services.

Minister in the office of the deputy prime minister Yvette
Cooper said it was “simply unacceptable” that homeless
families with children should spend long periods in unsuitable
conditions with little room to play, exercise, make friends or do

“It puts them at a disadvantage from a young age, and is
one of the worst manifestations of social exclusion. The decision
to outlaw the excessive use of B&B will ensure we don’t
return to the days when children living in hotels, for months and
even years, was all too commonplace,” she added.

Adam Sampson, the director of the homelessness charity Shelter,
said the decision marked the end of the “misery” of
long-term B&B accommodation for families.

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