Homelessness Reduction Bill: London Councils' response to funding announcement

Responding to the Homelessness Reduction Bill funding announcement this week, Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ executive member for housing, said:

"While we welcome CLG's commitment to fully fund the homelessness reduction bill, London Councils is concerned the costings contained based on estimates and therefore unlikely to be fully funded. The particular pressures in London, the potential impact of welfare reform and the escalating increases in homelessness are not addressed or acknowledged in these costings. We call on government to commit to reviewing the costs at the end of the first year to ensure the bill is fully funded.

“While boroughs are working hard to alleviate this problem and support those in need, they are facing hugely increased pressures. The solution to homelessness cannot be seen outside of the overall housing crisis  – we must build more homes at pace and scale.

"It is not enough to fulfil the new duties in the bill - Government must address rising homelessness and the fact there are not enough properties being built in the capital.

"Homelessness in London accounts for 32% of the England total and has also risen  by around 11% on last year.

"Councils are building, but need the powers and to deliver the homes that London needs. This, and looking again at the effect of welfare reform in the capital would start to address the gap between rents and incomes which is at the heart of the issue."