COUNCIL chiefs have raised concerns that an authority's funds to help residents who find themselves homeless may be exceeded by an increase in demand.

The concern has been raised after the number of households across Flintshire which needed temporary accommodation more than doubled over three months.

Flintshire Council's Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to discuss a revenue budget monitoring report for 2022/23.

The report projects how the authority's budget would stand at the close of the financial year, without new actions to reduce cost pressures and/or improve the financial return on efficiency planning and cost control.

And according to the document, the 'Council Fund' has an operating surplus of almost £700,000.

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The authority's housing revenue account however forecasts an expenditire of £3.1m higher than was budgeted for.

In addition to setting out the projected positions and projections for various council departments, the report also sets out a number of risks which are being 'tracked.'

One of these, headed 'homelessness', explains there is a risk due to the cessation of funding from the Welsh Government COVID-19 hardship fund at the end of 2021/22.

The report states: "Although, there is continued support via the new Homelessness – No One Left Out grant, with a further allocation of £0.256m being confirmed recently, this still falls well below the amount of support the council received via the Hardship Fund in 2020/21 and 2021/22.



"Although it has been possible to contain some of the expected pressure through prepaid accommodation to the end of September 2022, which has been funded by the COVID-19 Hardship Fund, the expected continued high demand for temporary accommodation including short term Bed & Breakfast provision will continue to present significant challenges. 

"There is a recent trend of increased numbers of households in Bed & Breakfast accommodation with numbers increasing progressively month on month from 29 in October to 61 in January, so more than doubling over a period of three months. 

"This is due to a combination of more new placements and fewer households moving on.

"At this rate of net growth there remains a clear risk of overspend despite additional in-year funding having been provided by Welsh Government."

Amongst the recommendations to cabinet members are that they note the report and the estimated financial impact on the 2022/23
budget, as well as approving a transfer of £200,000 from a contingency reserve to replenish the authority's Winter Maintenance Reserve.