HOUSING bosses have unveiled ambitious plans to cut down on expensive bed-and- breakfast bills run up by temporarily homeless households.

Eastleigh Borough Council is claiming families will only be placed in bed-and-breakfast lodging in absolute emergencies - and for no longer than six weeks.

Officers have suggested building 19 properties to be used for emergency accommodation and renting a further five dwellings from Southlands Housing Association and private landlords for similar use.

Another strategy being considered is the employment of a homelessness prevention officer, likely to be employed by April next year.

The Daily Echo reported earlier this year how the council had used its entire emergency housing budget in half a year. One Eastleigh family, which was evicted from private accommodation shortly after the news broke, was told it would have to stay in a Totton guesthouse at the taxpayers' expense for up to 12 months.

Ian and Saiphin Budd were forced to quit their Godfrey Olson House lodgings with their 15-month-old daughter Jo because of the landlord's no-children policy.

The couple quit their temporary lodgings after just a day after taxi driver Mr Budd branded the arrangement "totally impractical".

The new plans will be discussed at a council social policy scrutiny panel meeting next week.