William Eichler 24 December 2019

PM pledges £260m to ‘eliminate’ homelessness

PM pledges £260m to ‘eliminate’ homelessness  image

The Prime Minister has pledged £260m to help local authorities prevent homelessness and rough sleeping.

Councils will be able to use the funding to employ specialists to provide practical advice to vulnerable people to help ensure they are meeting their rent payments.

The funding will also go towards helping people to find long-term stable accommodation.

‘It cannot be right in the 21st century that people are homeless or having to sleep on our streets, and this government will work tirelessly to bring this to an end,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘This new funding is going to help councils provide better support to homeless people, and importantly, prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.’

A recent study from the homelessness charity Shelter revealed that 280,000 people are recorded as homeless in England – an increase of 23,000 since 2016.

The research also found that close to 220,000 people in England were threatened with homelessness in the last year.

Responding to the PM’s announcement, Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said: ‘Today’s announcement shows that the Government has listened to our calls and continued to fund homelessness services.

‘Behind every instance of homelessness lies an individual tragedy and councils want to work with the new Government to prevent this from happening in the first place and support those affected.’

Cllr Renard also urged the Government to devolve funding and powers to local authorities to help them tackle homelessness.

‘Councils are doing all they can to tackle homelessness, providing temporary housing for over 84,000 households, including 126,000 children,’ he said.

‘With greater funding and powers, such as the ability to keep all Right to Buy receipts and set discounts locally, councils can resume their role as historic builders of affordable homes and do just that.

‘Restoring Local Housing Allowance rates to cover at least the lowest third of market rents when the current freeze ends in 2020 would also protect families in the private rented sector at risk of becoming homeless.’

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