DCLG introduces flexible homelessness support grant

Communities Minister Marcus Jones has confirmed the introduction of a flexible homelessness support grant, giving councils greater flexibility to prioritise homelessness prevention.

Replacing the existing ‘temporary accommodation management fee’, which prioritises intervention over prevention, the new grant will empower councils with the freedom to support the full range of homelessness services - including employing a homelessness prevention or tenancy support officer to work closely with people who are at risk of losing their homes.

Through the grant, councils across England will receive £402 million over the next two years, with the Department for Communities and Local Government estimating that London councils will receive around £20 million more next year compared to what they would have received under the Department for Work and Pensions fee. Other high pressure areas, including Leeds, Birmingham, Reading, Peterborough and Portsmouth, will also gain significant additional funding.

Jones said: “This government is determined to help the most vulnerable in society, which is why we’re investing £550 million to 2020 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. We’ve brought in a raft of measures over the last few months, from funding homelessness projects in 225 local authorities to changing the law by backing Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill to support for more people at risk of losing their homes.

“We’re now going further and giving councils greater flexibility, so they can move away from costly intervention when a household is already homeless, to preventing this happening in the first place.”

The announcement compliment’s other government measures targeting homelessness, including a £20 million rough sleeping prevention fund to help individuals at risk or new to the streets get back on their feet, a £10 million Social Impact Bond programme to help long-term rough sleepers, and £61 million for councils to implement the measures in the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

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