Government aims to improve council data collection on homelessness

6 Sep 19

The government is looking for an organisation to run pilots to help it improve local authority data collection on homelessness. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said it will pay up to £90,000 for a third party to help eradicate “inconsistencies in data collection” on homelessness.

Pilot schemes will be set up to “understand what data is currently collected and how robust it is”, the department said.

“More could be done to improve local/national government’s shared understanding of what constitutes good homelessness services and outcomes. There’s a variety of incomparable data collected and definitions vary,” the contract description said.

It added: “Inconsistencies in data collection/use by a range of homelessness services mean that we do not have an accurate local and national picture of homelessness than is desirable”.

The MHCLG suggested local authorities were unable to effectively benchmark their performance against similar local authorities, which in turn means central government cannot always effectively determine local authority performance.

Applications can be submitted up until 12 September and the pilots are expected to start on 21 October.

In this week’s Spending Round chancellor Sajid Javid revealed a £54m package to “reduce homelessness and rough sleeping”.

But Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the homeless charity Crisis, claimed the money was not enough.

“If government is serious about meeting its 2025 commitment to end rough sleeping, then we need bolder financial commitments to prevent people form losing their home in the first place, and investment decisions that result in significantly more truly affordable social homes to be built,” said Sparkes.

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