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Homelessness - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:53 am on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 11:53 am, 20th December 2018

My Lords, first, I thank the noble Baroness for the reference to downloading the StreetLink app backed by Homeless Link. That is very valuable advice and I encourage people to do that. On her second point, as I indicated, this is not just about money. Of course the money is important, and we have committed money to it. We announced money just this week in relation to 11 more hubs and we have the rough sleeping initiative areas that were announced previously: much money is committed there. We have to make sure the money is properly spent, so, yes, it is about the money, but it is not just about that, and nor is this problem unique to England. Sadly it is, broadly speaking, a pan-European problem. There have been some successes in Finland and we had a representative of Finland on the rough sleeping advisory board. Our noble Lord, Lord Bird, is on it, as are the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, Andy Street and others. It meets regularly and it is taking action and taking the initiative. Once again, I encourage local authorities to look at whether they can bid in for some of the money relating to cold weather. The point is that it is not just about money, important though that is.