Lucy welcomes 2018 implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act

Lucy has welcomed news that the Government’s ‘Homelessness Reduction Act’ will be implemented in April 2018.

Ms Allan has campaigned for this important legislation since its proposal, in 2015, and has worked with colleagues and local groups, including Stay Telford and Maninplace, to shape its content and ensure that sufficient support is given by local authorities to persons who are at risk of, or currently suffering from, homelessness.

The Act, which comes into effect in April, will transform the culture of homelessness service delivery, and ensure that all English local authorities, public services and the third sector work together to actively prevent homelessness for people at risk – irrespective of whether they are a family or single person; what has put them at risk; or if they have a local connection to the area.

To support this crucial work, the Government has provided funding of £1billion through to 2020 – with this package being divided as follows:

  • £315 million to local authorities and £197 million of central government funding for homelessness programmes;
  • £100 million to deliver low-cost move-on accommodation places, for people leaving hostels and refuges to make a sustainable recovery; and
  • £402 million in Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding over the next two years, which local authorities can use more strategically to prevent and tackle homelessness in their areas.

The Government will also be providing £50 million to Homelessness Prevention Programmes, which will deliver an end-to-end approach to prevention. The funding breakdown, here, will be as follows:

  • £20 million to establish a network of ambitious Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer areas;
  • A £20 million rough sleeping grant fund for targeted prevention and early intervention for those at imminent risk of sleeping rough or new to the streets; and
  • £10 million of Social Impact Bond funding to provide personalised support for long-term rough sleepers.

Commenting on news of the Act’s April implementation, Ms Allan said:

“This is fantastic news, and I would like to pay tribute to my colleague, Bob Blackman MP, for proposing this legislation, as well as to Stay Telford and Maninplace, for all of their work in raising awareness, highlighting deficiencies in support, and for making valued contributions to this new Act”

“It is important to remember that homelessness and rough sleeping is not just an issue of housing. It has complex causes. Those at risk of homelessness, or currently experiencing it, may also require support from a wide range of areas, including employment, education and mental health services.”

“So, I’m pleased, in order to establish a truly holistic approach to tackling this issue, that the Government will also be launching a Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce to drive forward an approach which takes account of the causes of homelessness. “