Latest Public Sector News

02.08.13

£1.9m to tackle long-term homelessness

Seven councils have been awarded funding to find sustainable accommodation for families living in B&Bs. Communities minister Don Foster announced a £1.9m fund to support alternative housing schemes.

Officially, councils are only supposed to use B&Bs for housing families as a last resort, and only for up to six weeks. However, recent figures show many are staying for far longer.

15 councils account for nearly 80% of all such families. The new fund will help seven of these to develop a health and financial support service, create long-term private rental schemes and improve the systems for placing people in rented accommodation.

Findings from the project will be shared through the Homelessness Gold Standard scheme, and councils will receive half the money immediately, with the other half upon success.

Foster said: “Today’s £1.9m funding will help to get families across the country out of bed and breakfast accommodation and into stable homes.

“But this isn’t just a short term fix about cutting numbers – I want these councils to find long-term solutions to homelessness in their areas. They have a legal duty to help these families, and with this funding I expect them to ensure that no family need ever be stuck in this unsuitable accommodation for weeks on end.”

The councils and their funding are:

Barking and Dagenham will receive £300,000

Croydon will receive £265,166

Hounslow will receive £300,000

Crawley will receive £299,150

Birmingham will receive £297,500

Redbridge will receive £175,000

Westminster will receive £280,000

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