LABOUR councillors have called on the borough to build extra council houses to tackle homelessness.

It follows figures published in yesterday’s Advertiser showing the number of households forced into temporary accommodation has jumped by 87 per cent since 2013.

Jim Grant, who leads the Labour Party group in Swindon Borough Council, said: “These figures yet again demonstrate the need for Swindon Borough Council to build more council houses.

“The fact we are not building the council housing units we need not only is leaving vulnerable residents in sub-standard accommodation but also is also leading the taxpayer to pay more, paying for expensive private rents instead of cheaper council house rents.

“It is wrong that in a relatively wealthy country like the United Kingdom we are still reliant on B&Bs and sub-standard accommodation to house our more vulnerable residents.”

Swindon Borough Council has already committed to building 266 new homes, including 148 affordable flats and houses along Queens Drive.

Figures published in yesterday’s Adver showed there were 338 households in temporary accommodation in Swindon at the end of March this year, an 87 per cent increase on the number in 2013.

Responding to the figures, a council spokesman said: “We use high standard self-contained accommodation for the majority of cases and only use B&B provision for emergencies.” Government guidelines state that nobody with children should remain in a B&B for more than six weeks, and we strictly adhere to that.”

“The government’s statistics show that, at the end of March this year, only 11 of the 338 people given temporary accommodation were placed in B&Bs.”