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Homelessness: Floods

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many people in each local authority area affected have not yet returned to their homes following the floods of summer 2007; (241086)

(2) how many people who have not yet returned to their homes following the floods of summer 2007 are still living (a) in caravans, (b) in hotels, (c) in bed and breakfast accommodation, (d) in temporary accommodation and (e) with relatives in each local authority area.

As at 17 November 2008, we estimate, based on local authority returns, that 1,040 households remain wholly or partially displaced from their homes following the floods of summer 2007. We estimate that 118 of these households were living wholly or partially in caravans. A breakdown of the figures by local authority area and an accompanying press notice is available at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1086343

Approximately 100 households have been returning each week between the end of June and the middle of November and on that basis we expect around 500 households will not be fully back in their homes by Christmas, most of these for specific reasons, including: extra work such as extensions being done at the same time, delays starting repair work (for example because suitable contractors weren't available); the need to wait for drying out to complete before work could begin; problems with builders; difficulties with insurers; and, remedial work needing to be re-done.

However, the good progress in the long haul of flood recovery means almost 19 out of 20 households displaced by the floods of summer 2007 floods will be fully home by Christmas. That figure compares well to the Carlisle floods in 2005 when one in 10 were still out of their homes after 18 months. Nevertheless, I recognise it is no consolation to those still displaced and I will continue to work with local authorities and the insurance industry to ensure that the momentum in getting people home is maintained. I am particularly concerned about families still living in caravans and I have linked up with council leaders in the most affected authorities to offer additional support to help those households over the Christmas period.

The Department does not collect information on other types of alternative accommodation in which those still displaced from their homes may be living.