Poverty and Inequality

18.01.17

Councils welcome £48m homelessness provision but remain cautious

Councils have been awarded an extra £48m of funding to help expand homeless provision, but they have already warned that this may prove insufficient to tackle the problem.

The funding announced by the government aims to help councils meet the costs of measures which are likely to be introduced under Conservative MP Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill, which would give single people the rights currently given to families threatened with homelessness.

If passed, the Homelessness Reduction Bill would require councils to help all eligible people find secure accommodation for 56 days before they become homeless or for a further 56 days if they are already homeless.

Responding to the funding announcement, Mr Blackman said: “This funding package is a strong demonstration that the government is serious about helping people at risk of homelessness and I very much welcome this commitment.

“Should my Bill succeed, there will inevitably a transitional period as councils begin to manage their new duties and I believe this support will give them the best possible head start to improve outcomes long term.”

The announcement was made by the local government minister Marcus Jones, who said that the extra funding would enable councils to “hit the ground running”.

While the Bill has been widely praised, with communities secretary Sajid Javid saying that it will make “real changes” to how councils tackle homelessness, local authorities are more cautious about the funding offered, warning that the £48m is based on “assumptions that are difficult to predict”.

It is estimated that the Bill will cost councils £35.4m in 2017-18 and £12.1m in 2018-19, with nothing to pay in 2019-20.

“Councils have concerns that initial costings will inevitably be based on assumptions that are difficult to predict,” said Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA.

“For example, it is impossible to know how many people will come forward to access the new duties, what the impact of the Bill will be on different groups over time, and therefore the funding councils need to deliver duties that reduce homelessness.”

The LGA has asked the government to commit to reviewing the Bill’s impact in 2019-20 to “assess its actual impact” and ensure that councils are equipped to meet its ambitions.

Lord Porter also asked the government to support councils in tackling the wider factors which are leading to homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing and welfare reforms.

Last November Great Yarmouth Council, a Universal Credit (UC) pilot council, wrote to the DWP asking it to suspend the housing benefit element of the roll-out as delayed UC payments were causing private landlords to evict tenants, leading to a rise in homelessness in the town.

(Image c. Trowbridge Estate)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

London council ‘negligent and in denial’ over tower blocks at risk of collapse

22/06/2018London council ‘negligent and in denial’ over tower blocks at risk of collapse

Two tower blocks in North London are at risk of collapse, with the area’s council announcing it wants to begin re-housing residents “... more >
Christchurch allowed into High Court over Dorset council merger battle

22/06/2018Christchurch allowed into High Court over Dorset council merger battle

An ongoing battle between Christchurch Borough Council and a planned council merger has been given the go-ahead to proceed to the High Court. ... more >
Government does not ‘currently have understanding’ of skills businesses need going through Brexit

22/06/2018Government does not ‘currently have understanding’ of skills businesses need going through Brexit

Government departments “do not have sufficient understanding” of what skills UK businesses need, or how Brexit will impact the supply... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
London council ‘negligent and in denial’ over tower blocks at risk of collapse

22/06/2018London council ‘negligent and in denial’ over tower blocks at risk of collapse

Two tower blocks in North London are at risk of collapse, with the area’s council announcing it wants to begin re-housing residents “immediately.” The Tangmere and Northolt... more >
Christchurch allowed into High Court over Dorset council merger battle

22/06/2018Christchurch allowed into High Court over Dorset council merger battle

An ongoing battle between Christchurch Borough Council and a planned council merger has been given the go-ahead to proceed to the High Court. Last month, Christchurch council outlined its pl... more >

the raven's daily blog

The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

29/05/2018The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

Following the announcement of the second wave of integrated care systems (ICSs), NHS Providers, the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and the LGA reflect on how lessons learnt by members from across the four organisations – that have designed and worked together as part of the vanguards – will support the j... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Grenfell, one year on

18/06/2018Grenfell, one year on

In the year since the Grenfell Tower disaster, the LGA has been working tirelessly to ramp up fire safety regulations and ban ‘desktop&rsqu... more >
Brexit's long shadow over devolution

18/06/2018Brexit's long shadow over devolution

The EU Referendum and the stop-start Brexit negotiations have left a looming shadow of uncertainty over devolution in the UK, writes Anthony Sala... more >
Decisions, decisions

18/06/2018Decisions, decisions

The true social value of procurement comes from asking challenging questions and thinking outside the box, argues Melissa Bell, sustainable procu... more >
Finding the balance

18/06/2018Finding the balance

Douglas White, head of advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, evaluates the risk-benefit relationship of data sharing within the public sector, highl... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

  • 12/06/2018G-Cloud 10: small changes, big opportunities

    Rafael Cortes, Foehn head of marketing, explains how G-Cloud 10 should be a catalyst for innovative solutions and not a source of complacency. It was...
  • 04/06/2018Targets and tribulations

    David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, walks us through the university’s research into the apprenticeship levy, as well as...
  • 30/04/2018The legacy of Grenfell

    PSE’s Seamus McDonnell looks at the reactions of councils and the government to the Grenfell Tower fire, from the immediate aftermath to the...
View all News