The number of people at risk of homelessness in Kirklees has grown.

And it means Kirklees Council has had to find more money to spend on temporary accommodation.

Figures show that Kirklees spent £893,502 on temporary accommodation in 2015/16 – compared to £544,133 the previous year.

Local authorities class people by their need, and the figures show 401 people were accepted as being homeless and in priority need of assistance.

Not all needed temporary or emergency accommodation and could be supported by other means, but seven people or families had to be put up in a B&B and 62 were found a house from the council’s housing stock.

In the previous year, there were 296 people accepted as being homeless and in priority need of assistance.

Of those in greatest need, 14 were put up in a B&B, five in a hostel and 65 in council housing.

The use of B&Bs and hostels locally has risen as in 2013/14 Kirklees Council didn’t need to use either.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “Protecting vulnerable people is a high priority for Kirklees.

“Temporary accommodation is provided, not because of the shortage of houses available, rather as an emergency provision if we have reason to believe that a household is either homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Video thumbnail, Dave Kennedy's Huddersfield Change Project (HCP)
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Dave Kennedy's Huddersfield Change Project (HCP)

“In many cases, helping at this early stage, or avoiding a family becoming homeless, saves the council and the family increased costs and difficulties later on.”

It comes as nationally councils spend £2 million a day on temporary accommodation.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says around 75,000 households are currently living in temporary accommodation, including bed and breakfasts, hostels and private rented accommodation.

They said it is bad for families and communities and expensive for councils.

The LGA believes more affordable housing would relieve the pressure on councils and they’ve called on the government to free councils from borrowing limits hampering their ability to build new homes, and to adapt welfare reforms to protect families at risk of homelessness.

In January the government says it gave a “further £48 million” to help councils deliver new and expanded services to prevent and reduce homelessness.

And last week the government unveiled a new ‘flexible homelessness support grant’ describing it as a “radical replacement” of the tightly controlled funding currently given to source and manage temporary accommodation for homeless people.

In 2017/18 Kirklees will get £314,914.96 as part of the new grant scheme and £345,359.36 in 2018/19.