Mark Whitehead 25 March 2019

Councils 'struggling to cope' with Homelessness Reduction Act

Councils struggling to cope with Homelessness Reduction Act image

A year after the Government took radical steps to reduce homelessness councils are warning they lack the resources to cope with a rising tide of people needing somewhere to live.

A survey by the Local Government Association to mark the first anniversary of the Homelessness Reduction Act - which gave councils new powers to tackle the crisis - found most councils say they are struggling to cope.

More people are being placed in temporary and emergency accommodation because there is not enough affordable housing for them.

The LGA says pressure on councils will increase as homelessness continues to rise.

In the survey of more than 150 councils, nine out of ten said they were seriously worried about the limited access to housing they could provide.

It revealed 8 in 10 councils have seen an increase in people presenting as homeless since the Act came into force.

Many local authorities said excessive paperwork required by the Act was costing them too much in administration and hampering their ability to meet the needs of people at risk of homelessness.

The LGA says the Government must tackle wider factors that are increasing homelessness including allowing councils to keep all the money they gain through the Right to Buy scheme so that they can build affordable housing.

It also says welfare reforms must be enacted to protect families at risk and prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.

LGA housing spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: 'Many councils have updated their homelessness prevention strategies since the Act was introduced last year.

'But a lack of affordable housing has left many struggling to cope with rising number of people coming to them for help and having to place more families and households into temporary and emergency accommodation as a result.

'This is bad for families and communities, expensive for councils and not the aim of the Act.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assistant Director Property

East Sussex County Council
Up to £86,000 (pay award pending)
Your track record of leading change will equip you to position Property Services as a true, collaborative partner delivering a... East Sussex
Recuriter: East Sussex County Council

Hylands Manager

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 10 - Starting at £43,836 per annum and rising to £48,309
This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an exceptional candidate to create and deliver a vision for Hylands House to ensure it can reach it’s f... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Service Manager (Estates and Development)

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Up to £60,000 per annum
We are seeking an experienced property professional to join us as Service Manager (Estates and Development). T Welwyn, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Assistant Traffic Management & Road Safety Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
£22,021 to £26,999
We are looking for an Assistant Engineer to join our Traffic Engineering team. The Traffic Engineering Team forms part of... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regulatory Lawyer Solicitor - Selby

Selby District Council
£32,029 to £42,683 pro rata.
We are looking for a Solicitor/Barrister who can join our supportive team to provide legal support to Selby District Council and... Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Selby District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue