Commission launched to tackle homelessness

6 Jul 18

A commission has been launched to help English councils halt the “runaway train of increasing homelessness”.

The Local Government Information Unit has set up the Local Government Homelessness Commission after government figures revealed an increase of rough sleepers last year.

In 2017, the number of rough sleepers rose 15% to 4,751 and. with the Homelessness Reduction Act coming into place in April, councils now have extra duties to provide housing plans for anyone at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days.

Peter Fleming, co-chair of the commission and leader of Sevenoaks District Council, said: “There is a clear and unambiguous need for local government to put our collective minds to solutions that can be quickly moved to actions, to urgently turn the runaway train of increasing homelessness in this country.”

The commission will run for a year and help councils prevent homelessness by looking at: temporary accommodation; data; support for young people and vulnerable groups; and economics and finance.

Simon Blackburn, co-chair of the commission and leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is a complex picture, which is different in different parts of the country.

“It is therefore about using the right tools to prevent homelessness in local areas, but we also call on central government for the resources and support to make this work.”

The commission will take evidence this autumn and issue a full report on the outcomes in spring next year.

LGIU chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said: “This is an essential time for local government to examine what can be done locally to combat the rapidly growing homelessness crisis across the country.”

He added that the work was a “milestone” that would look to build best practice and identify resources and powers needed to tackle homelessness.

Read Andrew Walker from LGIU’s blog for PF on local government efforts to prevent homelessness

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