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Fully fund services to address homelessness in London

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

As new data on homelessness is published today, London Councils is calling on central Government to enable London boroughs to boost their homelessness prevention and support services.

London Councils, the membership group representing the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, is urging Government to properly fund the expansion of these services described in the Homelessness Reduction Act, which will cost at least £77 million per year in London. 

However Government has only allocated £10 million per year to the capital, despite the fact that nearly 70 per cent of homeless households in England are based in London – 54,660 individuals and families. 

Delaying implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act until September 2018 would also be welcomed as it would allow boroughs to make essential changes to their housing teams, including recruiting additional staff if needed.

Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive member for housing, said:

“The Homelessness Reduction Act will transform homelessness prevention and relief services for the better and London boroughs are committed to helping more people at an earlier stage to prevent and address homelessness. 

“However, we fear that inadequate funding for the Homelessness Reduction Act in London, as well as the unrealistic timescale for making changes to existing services, risks leaving thousands of vulnerable people without support.

“We urge Government to take our concerns on board and give London boroughs adequate funding – £77 million a year according to our estimates – and additional time to deliver these much-needed services for Londoners at risk of homelessness or currently living in temporary accommodation.

“Ultimately London also needs a significant boost in the supply of new homes available to rent and to buy, as well as the removal of the Local Housing Allowance cap, in order to tackle the root causes of homelessness.” 

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Statutory homelessness statistics for July-September 2017 were published today. There was a 10 per cent increase in the number of households accepted as being owed a homelessness duty in London compared to the previous quarter. As of 30 September 2017, there were 54,660 households in temporary accommodation in London, nearly 500 more than in the previous quarter. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-and-homelessness-prevention-and-relief-england-july-to-september-2017 to view the statistics.

The Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee recently called on government to review draft Homelessness Code of Guidance. More details here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/news-parliament-2017/homelessness-code-of-guidance-correspondence-17-19/