Section: Homelessness & Rough Sleeping

£260 million committed to help councils combat homelessness

Posted 27.12.19
GOV.UK: Further reading

Over £260 million of government funding has been committed for local authorities to support people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.

Councils can use the funding to employ specialists to provide practical advice to vulnerable people to help ensure they are meeting their rent payments, as well as helping them to find long-term stable accommodation.

The first £200 million comes from the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant, introduced in 2017 with the aim of a radical change in the way councils provide support to those at risk of homelessness.

The remaining funding - the £63 million Homelessness Reduction Grant - will go to councils to fulfill their duties under the Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into force last year to help homeless households into accommodation.

A specific requirement of the Act is the duty placed on public bodies, such as hospitals, prisons and social services, to refer people who may be threatened with homelessness to a housing authority.

It was also confirmed that the Cold Weather Fund will receive an additional £3 million, taking the total to £13 million, to enhance support available for rough sleepers during the winter period.


Homelessness system broken 'beyond repair'

Posted 19.12.19
Homeless Network Scotland: Further reading

Preventing homelessness will not be possible until the current system is replaced with a fairer, more effective and accessible one, according to the charity, Homeless Network Scotland.

The charity works to end homelessness in Scotland and is warning that the current system is no longer fit for purpose, at the same time calling on professionals and Scottish society to get behind the real change that's taking place in 2020 if plans to end long-term homelessness are to succeed.

After almost a decade of decreasing homelessness applications, numbers have increased again in recent years - ranging from people whose need is housing only, to those whose homelessness is compounded by other issues.

Those people with the toughest circumstances often find it hard to keep a home, or even a hostel placement, without support, becoming stuck in a 'revolving door' of unstable temporary accommodation or rough sleeping.

The current homelessness system is heavily weighted in favour of what is called 'emergency response' and does not make it easy for councils and their partners to be proactive and intervene early, even when there is evidence that someone is at risk.

Under the Scottish Government's Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan several programmes and initiatives are introducing new solutions, with greater emphasis on the role of people who have personal experience of homelessness to help drive change.

Homeless Network Scotland manages one of those initiatives - the Housing First programme - in five areas.


280,000 people in England are homeless with thousands more at risk

Posted 19.12.19
Shelter: Further reading

New figures from Shelter reveal 280,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, an increase of 23,000 since 2016 when the charity first published its landmark annual report.

Shelter's extensive analysis of official rough sleeping and temporary accommodation figures, along with social services records, shows that in one in every 200 people are without a home.

For the first time, its review of government data has also exposed that close to 220,000 people in England were threatened with homelessness in the last year.

Despite being the most comprehensive overview of homelessness in the country, it's widely known that a lot of homelessness goes undocumented, including sofa-surfing and some rough sleeping.

Shelter is warning that unless the new government takes urgent action to address the dire lack of social homes at the crux of this emergency, the situation is likely to get worse.


Latest news from FEANTSA

Updated 16.12.19
FEANTSA: Use the links below for further reading.

FEANTSA is the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless. It is the only European NGO focusing exclusively on the fight against homelessness, with an ultimate goal is an end to homelessness in Europe.

The following are recent publications from Feantsa, which might be of interest to readers.

50 out-of-the-box Housing Solutions.

The Housing Solutions Platform has just published a compendium of some of the most innovative and daring examples of housing solutions for the locked out in Europe.

The selected projects focus on providing safe, decent, and affordable housing through many different means - including innovative construction, novel legal mechanisms, new forms of inter-agency collaboration, and more.

The innovative housing solutions selected by also provide ways to overcome financial and political barriers within the European housing market.

Homeless in Europe Magazine - Winter 2019.

The latest edition of the Homeless in Europe Magazine has a range of interesting articles, including:

.... and much more.


A child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes

Posted 04.12.19
Shelter: Further reading

A staggering 135,000 children in Britain are homeless, living in temporary accommodation, according to a report launched by Shelter - which is the highest number in 12 years.

For the first time, the charity has exposed the frequency with which children are becoming homeless, as its Generation Homeless report reveals a child loses their home every eight minutes.

The report also shines a light on the 5,683 homeless families with children currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels - widely considered the worst type of accommodation.

Families are often:

To often, the accommodation is located miles away from schools, jobs and loved ones.

The charity is calling on every political party to put housing at the top of its domestic agenda.


Quick Links

Updated 16.12.19

Mayor of London: Mayor urges Londoners to support his winter rough sleeping campaign.

KeyFacts (Party Manifesto): Labour pledges 'moral mission' to save lives this Christmas and end rough sleeping.

KeyFacts (Party Manifesto): Pledges to tackle homelessness - a look at the manifesto commitments of Labour and Conservative for tackling homelessness.

BBC News: 'I'd rather sleep rough' than in 'slum' emergency housing - Residents of a B&B that provides emergency accommodation have said they would rather sleep on the streets as it would be "cleaner and safer".


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Reporting on December 2019

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