More homeless families are living out of hotels around the Stroud district while they wait for a permanent home.

23 households with dependent children were put up in a hotel during the last financial year by Stroud District Council - up from 14 families in 2016/17 and two in 2015/16.

Councils book hotels for homeless families as both an interim measure - while the council is assessing the household’s need - and as temporary accommodation.

The council’s use of hotels for the homeless is on the rise more generally.

It spent £5,384 for 106 hotel nights in 2015/16, rising to £21,079 for 515 nights the next year and then £32,782 for 717 nights in 2017/2018.

Labour councillor Chas Townley, who oversees the council’s work on housing, has blamed the government for not letting SDC build more houses and so leaving it with little alternative but to book budget hotels.

“The council is nearing the end of a major project to build 236 new council houses but sadly borrowing to build more is capped by government,” he said.

“And with housing benefits frozen until 2020 for private rented tenants it makes it even harder for people to rent in that sector too.

But the government has stressed more council houses are on their way to Stroud.

When approached for comment on the rise in hotel use, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Councils have a duty to provide temporary accommodation and we are providing more than £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness through to 2020.

“We are making £9bn available to build more affordable properties and we are giving councils like Stroud the power to borrow a share of £1bn to build a new generation of council housing.”

In the meantime, cllr Townley says SDC is working to avoid “uprooting” households.

”Our Housing Advice Service actively works to prevent homelessness, seeking early interventions wherever possible and avoiding the use of temporary accommodation to avoid uprooting households.

“However, homelessness is increasing nationally so the use of budget hotels as temporary accommodation is sometimes our only alternative.

“We would urge anyone who is concerned about their housing situation to contact the Council’s Housing Advice Team on 01453 754 078.”