Calls for powers to end influx of vulnerable adults into Blackpool

Calls have been made for new government powers to prevent the influx of vulnerable adults such as ex-offenders and recovering drug addicts into Blackpool from other parts of the country.

A council investigation has found people are being brought into the resort by other councils to live in so-called supported housing in the resort.

These can include homeless people, addicts, ex-offenders, vulnerable young people such as carers or teenage parents, older people with support needs, people with learning and physical disabilities, people suffering mental ill health and people at risk of domestic abuse.

But some landlords do not provide the additional support required despite collecting higher levels of housing benefit for it.

This is creates additional demand on social services in Blackpool which are already under pressure.

Now councillors have put together their own set of guidelines for the provision of supported housing in Blackpool, but warn the measures are not enforceable unless the government gives councils tougher powers.

Following a scrutiny report, which was approved by the council’s executive on Thursday February 24, it was agreed to adopt supported housing standards for Blackpool, and to lobby the government to introduce legislation.

The scrutiny report said a major concern was “the high number of vulnerable people being brought in from out of area by providers in order to take places within supported housing in the town.

“Concern was raised that some other local authorities might be aware of the practice and appointed agencies to locate vulnerable and difficult to place adults in Blackpool, resulting in a person outside of their home town with no local connections and therefore increasing their vulnerability.”

This was backed by the fact more than 80 per cent of new housing benefit claims in Blackpool are made by people arriving from outside the area.

A £700,000 government funded pilot study pilot study to explore how supported housing in the resort can be improved has also been concluded.

It has led to a new team being set up to provide a single point of contact for providers , while existing supported housing schemes have been reviewed.

There had been 23 enquiries made during the pilot scheme to set up new supported housing, the majority of which have been prevented.

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Lancs Live – Blackpool