Protesters call for an ‘end to housing crisis’ outside council meeting

Watch: A protestor speaks outside the Council House in Nottingham city centre

By Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

A group of protestors have called for Nottingham City Council to invest more in social housing and to put an end to temporary accommodation.

The group say the council should spend its reserves on ending what they call a ‘housing crisis’ in Nottingham.

It comes after the council sought a court order to temporarily close the Stage Hotel in Gregory Boulevard following allegations of anti-social behaviour.

The hotel was used by the council to put people in emergency accommodation before other housing could be found.

The group, Nottingham Housing Justice Forum, met outside the Council House in the Market Square ahead of a meeting of the full council on Monday (July 9).

Protestors outside the Council House in Nottingham city

Protestor Ben White said: “We want people to be in decent housing and proper housing and we want the city council to put an end to the housing crisis which they are failing to do at the moment.

“I don’t have a problem with the fact they have closed the Stage but they have known about the problems there since 2015.

“Why have they continued to house vulnerable people there since that time?

“I have no sympathy for the council saying it is getting less money from the government because they have not done enough to fight against those cuts.

“The council has money stockpiled for emergencies but yet they are refusing to spend it on the housing crisis.

“This is exactly the kind of issue they should be putting money into.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “We ceased placements in the Stage Hotel in January this year in advance of the closure order which is now in place.

“Notwithstanding a significant increase in the number of people presenting as homeless following the government’s ill-described Homelessness Reduction Act, we remain committed to ending the use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation by the end of the year.”

A spokesman for the Nottingham Housing Justice Forum said: “For many months we have been campaigning under the slogan ‘Homes Not Hostels’ – because hostel accommodation does not meet people’s needs.

“The recent closure of The Stage Hotel where Nottingham City Council has been housing families shows just how inappropriate this accommodation is.”

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