“Councils want to end homelessness by preventing it happening in the first place, but are currently housing more than 200,000 homeless people, many of them children, in temporary accommodation."
Responding to the report, which found that councils are spending almost £1 billion less each year on homelessness compared to a decade ago, Local Government Association Housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, said:
“This timely report highlights the significant barriers facing councils, who between 2010 and 2020 will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 they had from government to spend on services, and face a funding gap of £421 million on homelessness services alone by 2024/25.
“Councils want to end homelessness by preventing it happening in the first place, but are currently housing more than 200,000 homeless people, many of them children, in temporary accommodation. Councils spent nearly £1 billion supporting families into temporary accommodation in 2017/18 alone, up £145 million from 2015/16. This is bad for families and unsustainable for councils, which as a result have less funding to invest in preventing homelessness for everyone.
“The Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy provides some helpful support, but more needs to be done to prevent homelessness happening in the first place. To achieve this, the Government needs to use its upcoming Spending Review to reform the welfare system, free councils to build more social homes, and sustainably fund them to deliver homelessness services.”
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.