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Birmingham tells other councils: 'We are not the solution to your housing problems'

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Birmingham tells other councils: 'We are not the solution to your housing problems'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Birmingham tells other councils: 'We are not the solution to your housing problems' Birmingham tells other councils: 'We are not the solution to your housing problems'

Birmingham City Council is warning other local authorities seeking to re-house people on waiting lists in the city that it is unwilling to be the solution to their problems.

The council has been forced to issue a statement after it was revealed that Oxford City Council has been advising people in urgent housing need to seek alternative accommodation in Birmingham and Cardiff.

With Oxford's private landlords turning away benefit claimants - and the cap on housing benefit exacerbating the problem - the council says it has little option to provide alternatives.

Scott Seamons, Oxford City Council’s board member for housing, explained: “Due to cuts in the Local Housing Allowance, it’s become increasingly difficult to place people with private landlords in Oxford.

“There’s too much choice for landlords, so they’re refusing people on benefits.”

He added: “Our first choice is absolutely to keep people in Oxford. I don’t want to see people being pushed out of the city. We’re doing what we can to build new houses. It’s the only way we’re really going to be able to make a difference.”

But in response, Birmingham City Council - which confirmed that it was aware of two placements from Oxford already - issued the following statement: "We will not turn our back on vulnerable people, but the simple message for Oxford or any other council looking to relocate people in Birmingham is this: We're not the solution to your problem.

"We're fully aware of the challenges many councils are facing but they have to understand that demand for housing is also high here in Birmingham and we have our own pressures.

"If other councils are moving people to this city, we at least ask that they act responsibly and keep us informed so that we can put adequate support in place."

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