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|Published||5 December 2007|
People sleeping on the streets or staying in bed and breakfast accommodation will benefit from the biggest ever cash injection for homeless services, Junior Housing Minister Iain Wright announced today.
Councils will receive at least £150 million over three years to help them prevent and tackle homelessness in their areas and will receive almost £50 million in homelessness grants next year - a £3 million increase on last year and a rise of 6 per cent.
All local authorities will receive at least £30,000, with some receiving increases of 25 per cent higher than last year, including Newham, Solihull and Sunderland.
This is the first time that Communities and Local Government has awarded a three year settlement. This will help councils plan for the long term and achieve even more for their money. It will also help them meet the targets to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation by 50 per cent and end the use of bed and breakfast for 16 and 17 year olds by 2010.
Councils will be able to invest the funding in expanding successful prevention schemes such as rent deposit and mediation services which have contributed to huge falls in homelessness and make further reductions in rough sleeping by funding outreach and day centre services.
Last year Eastbourne council invested £130,000 in prevention schemes including housing and legal advice to households at risk of homelessness and mediation services which reunited young people with their families. Harrogate council supported the 'HowzTalk' supported lodgings scheme which successfully helped young people secure accommodation or a return home.
Junior Housing Minister Iain Wright said:
"This record funding will help councils step up their work to prevent and tackle homelessness. We've seen huge progress over the last decade with new cases of homelessness at the lowest levels in 20 years, rough sleeping has fallen by two-thirds, use of temporary accommodation is falling and the number of 16 and 17 year olds in bed and breakfast has fallen by a third since we set the target a year ago."
"But we know there is much still to do. We want to help families living in temporary accommodation into a settled home, provide better opportunities for young people facing homelessness and make further reductions in rough sleeping."
Latest statistics published in September show that new cases of homelessness reported by local authorities have fallen by 18 per cent in comparison to the same period last year to 15,960 - the lowest level since the early 1980s. The number of households placed in temporary accommodation is down 10 per cent compared to the same date last year, falling to 84,900 from 93,910. The figures show that almost nine out of ten (87 per cent) of households in temporary accommodation are in self-contained homes with their own front door.
By 2008 the Government will have invested £300m for prevention services. The Government pledged last November to end the use of B&B as accommodation for homeless 16 and 17 year olds as part of a national plan in partnership with the voluntary sector and local authorities, to prevent and tackle youth homelessness.
For a breakdown of homelessness grants by local authority please see www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/574299
The Government's homelessness strategy - Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing lives was published on 14 March 2005.
On 14 November 2006, Ruth Kelly announced a package of measures to prevent and tackle youth homelessness, through;
a. a commitment that by 2010, no 16 or 17 year olds should be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation by a local authority under the homelessness legislation, except in an emergency;
b. improving access to family mediation schemes to prevent youth homelessness;
c. establishing supported lodgings schemes across the country by launching a new national supported lodgings development scheme.
A National Youth Homelessness Scheme website was launched in October for local authorities and partners involved in preventing and tackling youth homelessness. Visit www.communities.gov.uk/youthhomelessness/
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