Council to continue to meet storage costs for homeless households

Proposals to introduce charges for the storage of the belongings of homeless households in Aberdeen have been rejected by members of the Finance, Policy and Resources committee.

Aberdeen City Council has a duty to provide removal storage and disposal facilities for the furniture and personal belongings of people who are determined as statutory homeless or threatened with homelessness.

This service is provided free of charge by the Council, governed by an application process.

A report to the committee, which was considered yesterday (6 December 2017), recommended that the local authority falls in line with other Councils in Scotland by introducing charges, depending on the applicant’s individual circumstances - which it was estimated would have resulted in savings of £26,898 over the next year.

Members of the committee opted instead to continue the existing policy on the storage of belongings and not to introduce charges.

As part of the decision officers have been tasked with continuing to develop other initiatives to reduce the length of time households spend in temporary accommodation and in turn reduce the length of time required for storage.

Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader and convener of the Finance, Policy and Resources committee, said: “Whilst the need to make savings throughout the council is pressing, that must be balanced against the needs of those we serve and particularly the most vulnerable. There was agreement across the committee that the introduction of charges is not a road we wish to go down.”