Homeless families to be moved to make way for Beyoncé concert
Up to 30 homeless families housed in a North London hotel are due to be moved when Beyoncé's world tour arrives at the end of the month.
Currently about 100 rooms – making up two-thirds – of the Travelodge in question are booked by Enfield Council and are occupied by families and individuals who reported themselves homeless to the local authority. Some families live four or five people to one room.
But ahead of Beyoncé's five night run at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium between 29 May and 4 June, the council failed to extend a number of bookings, meaning the rooms have since been reserved by concert goers. As a result, those housed at the Travelodge will have to leave.
Speaking to The Guardian about the impact the ordeal has had already, a 42-year-old woman who lives in the Travelodge with her three children, two of whom have autism, said: "I don’t sleep as it is but this news is very distressing. It’s not good for me, my mental health and for my two youngest children who need stability because of their additional needs. Every environment we go into, it takes time for them to settle in. They have to be in the same routine. It will be very distressing for them."
"The Travelodge booking system does not allow for long-term reservation of rooms and therefore regular re-bookings need to be made," a spokesperson for Enfield Council told Cosmopolitan UK, explaining that block bookings for long periods of time cannot be made and new bookings can only be made a certain number of days in advance.
"We will continue to work closely with Travelodge and other hotels to find suitable, affordable accommodation," the spokesperson added. "Council officers are visiting families to explain the options available to them and if direct contact cannot be made we are writing to them to outline next steps."
While it's an issue the council is keen to resolve, it seems a mammoth task when up against the cost-of-living crisis and the issues with renting in the capital. "This situation exemplifies the deteriorating state of housing in London and the collapse of the private rental sector," the council's spokesperson went on. "There simply are not enough appropriate properties available."
Elaborating on that, they added: "The latest government statistics on homelessness in England show 101,300 households live in temporary accommodation – the highest figure since 2005. And across London, the number of families living in B&B and hotel accommodation for longer than six weeks increased an alarming 823 per cent between February 2022 and February 2023."
To that end, the council insists it will "continue to assist people to move with practical solutions and our lobbying of the government to urgently address the rental and housing crises will intensify."
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