Councils are to receive a further £48 million funding to help them deliver new and expanded services to prevent and reduce homelessness, Local Government Minister Marcus Jones has confirmed.
This new funding will be available to councils in England to meet the costs of the Homelessness Reduction Private Members’ Bill, which if passed by Parliament, will mean anyone at risk of losing their home will get the help they need more quickly.
Under the Bill, local authorities will be required to help all eligible people – whether they are single or a family - for 56 days before they are threatened with homelessness. Those who are already homeless will get support for a further 56 days to help them secure accommodation.
Other services will also be required to refer homeless people or those at risk to local authority housing teams who can provide them with free information and advice services.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
I’m committed to preventing homelessness and this new £48 million backing for Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill will allow councils to make real changes in the way they help vulnerable people.
Local Government Minister Marcus Jones said:
We’re determined to make sure anyone facing the threat of homelessness gets the support they need.
That’s why we’re supporting Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill, which will help strengthen the safety net for people who find themselves at risk of losing their homes.
Councils asked for extra funds to help bring in the changes and we’ve listened, with an extra £48 million so they can hit the ground running.
Welcoming the funding, Bob Blackman MP 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.
I pay tribute to the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, and Local Government Minister Marcus Jones, for the serious and responsible way they have embraced my Homelessness Reduction Bill and worked with myself and others to ensure it has the best possible chance of success.
This latest support is part of wider range of measures this government has taken to support people at risk of homelessness. These measures include:
- protecting and maintaining the funding for councils to provide homelessness prevention services at £315 million by 2020
- £20 million to support innovative approaches in local areas to tackle and prevent homelessness
- £20 million rough sleeping prevention fund to help individuals at risk or new to the streets get back on their feet
- £10 million Social Impact Bond programme to help long-term rough sleepers who may be bouncing chaotically through the housing system
Read the Written Statement on the Homelessness Reduction Bill made by Marcus Jones today (17 January 2017).
The Homelessness Reduction Bill will significantly reform England’s homelessness legislation contained in Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. It was published on Friday 21 October 2016, and passed Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 28 October 2016. For further information, please refer to the factsheets.
The government has and will continue to work with local councils and the Local Government Association to test the methodology behind the estimated costs of the Bill, as well as the distribution model for the funding. This will reflect the different need in different areas.
On 21 December 2016 the government announced the successful areas that will benefit from a new £50 million prevention programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.