£1.8m funding for homelessness initiative
The 15 councils responsible for placing the most families in bed and breakfast accommodation are being encouraged to bid for cash from a £1.8m Government fund to test new solutions.
Nearly 80% of the 760 families placed in such lodgings for longer than six weeks come from Barking and Dagenham, Birmingham, Brent, Crawley, Croydon, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Milton Keynes, Redbridge, Reigate and Banstead, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster.
Housing minister Mark Prisk wants these local authorities to adopt a ‘Gold Standard’ approach to homelessness and learn from best practice across the country. The Gold Standard is a commitment to prevent homelessness and includes a challenge to reduce the use of temporary accommodation such as B&Bs becoming a long-term solution. Locally--led schemes to achieve the Gold Standard began this April.
Government statistics show 75% of councils are keeping local families out of bed and breakfasts altogether. The £1.8m will allow those struggling to test new solutions and learn from other areas. Half of the funding will be provided upfront, with the remainder delivered upon success.
Prisk said: “There’s a huge variation in how councils help the homeless, especially when it comes to finding them a stable home.
“Some councils are already doing great work but it’s clear we need to spread this best practice across all councils. By doing so and offering financial support we will ensure that families have a much better chance of getting a stable home for the long term.”
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