Laura Sharman 18 July 2017

Preventing homelessness of vulnerable is 'achievable goal' say MPs

Preventing homelessness of vulnerable is 'achievable goal' say MPs

Preventing homelessness for care leavers, victims of domestic abuse and people leaving prison is 'achievable' within the next Parliament, a new report has argued.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness (APPGEH) said many of the most vulnerable people are falling through the net, despite already being known to local authorities and other services.

It found that a third of care leavers become homeless in the two years after leaving care, while 11% of all homeless acceptances were down to the breakdown of a violent relationship.

The APPGEH is calling on government departments to work in partnership to audit existing policies and design programmes to specifically help these groups of people.

Neil Coyle, joint co-chair of the APPGEH said: ‘A local authority should know exactly when a care leaver or prison leaver is making the transition from institutional life to independence and should be ready and prepared to step in at that stage. Similarly, survivors of domestic violence should be given a crime reference number as soon as they make a domestic violence report to the police.

‘However, many survivors feel unable or too afraid to even report abuse to the police in the first place. Time and again these people are getting lost despite, in many cases, receiving assistance from public bodies which should be a trigger to prevent their homelessness. Homelessness prevention for these groups is an achievable goal.’

A Government spokesperson said: 'This Government is determined to help the most vulnerable in society and is working to ensure people always have a roof over their heads.

'We’re investing £550m to 2020 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, which includes £20m to trial new initiatives targeted at those most in need. We’re also committed to piloting a Housing First approach to tackle rough sleeping and implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act, which will require councils to provide early support to people at risk of becoming homeless.'

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