Hundreds of families are on the brink of homelessness in north Norfolk.

The housing crisis across the region has led to 108 households becoming at risk of homelessness – with 72 already in temporary accommodation provided by the council having fallen on hard times.

The crisis has now become so “desperate” that there has been a more than 50pc rise in the number of children living in temporary homes in the last year.

Wendy Fredericks, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and people services, said there is “no obvious solution” to north Norfolk’s housing crisis.

North Norfolk News: Wendy Fredericks, NNDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and people servicesWendy Fredericks, NNDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and people services (Image: NNDC)


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She said this is due to soaring house prices and “hideously expensive” private rentals alongside a growing number of holiday lets and second homes, which continue to reduce the availability of properties for local people.

She also said ‘nutrient neutrality’ – rules designed to ensure new homes do not dangerously increase nutrient levels in rivers and lakes via wastewater – held up the building of 250 affordable homes when the rules came into effect “on the stroke of a pen” last year.

The council uses its own properties to house homeless families, but when the supply runs out it is forced to turn to costly hotels and B&Bs.

NNDC announced a £515,000 deficit in its general fund last week, which it blamed on the growing costs of temporary accommodation for homeless families.

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“The government are looking to us to solve the housing crisis but giving us matchsticks to build houses with,” Cllr Fredericks said.

“We need the government to give us enough money to buy land so we can help our housing associations to build affordable homes.

“Hotels and B&B are ludicrously expensive and are often out of the district and away from family, work and school.

“They’re so disruptive to families who just want somewhere to rebuild their lives, which we want to help them to do.”

Miss Fredericks attended a virtual District Council Network (DCN) emergency summit meeting on homelessness and temporary accommodation last week.

She penned an open letter to the government calling for more support for local councils.