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Budget hotel chains Travelodge and Premier Inn housing the homeless

Budget hotel chains Travelodge and Premier Inn housing the homeless

Budget hotel groups like Travelodge and Premier Inn are increasingly being used to house homeless families, as local authorities attempt to tackle the UK's housing crisis.

Spending by Britain's largest cities on so-called "bed and breakfast accommodation" has risen to £91.1m in the past year - an increase of 25% - because a number of councils have found that budget hotel chains offer better value than the smaller hostels that are usually used.

London, Oxford and Cambridge are the worst affected because rent rises in the private sector have outstripped the budgets that councils have set aside to pay for emergency accommodation, reported the Independent.

Ed Turner, the deputy leader of Oxford City Council, described the situation as "grim".

"The reason we use places like Travelodge is because you can't find anywhere else," he added. "Placing people in somewhere like a Travelodge is a last resort but sometimes it has to be done to meet the council's legal and, frankly, moral obligations."

A spokesman for Huntingdon District Council said it had also had to use Premier Inns to meet a shortfall in accommodation for the homeless.

Edinburgh, north Devon and Chorley, Lancashire have also been forced to adopt this solution.

A Premier Inn spokesman said: "On an occasional basis Premier Inn is asked by some local councils to provide accommodation for residents who may temporarily not be able to live in their home address."

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: "The law is clear that families should only be placed in this temporary accommodation in an emergency and only then for no more than six weeks. It is also a waste of tax payers' money to be paying such large sums to house families in this way.

"Whilst it is ultimately a matter for councils to decide how to make best use of their budgets, it cannot make sense to pay more for housing a family in one room than it would cost to house them in suitable self-contained accommodation."

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