Rented Housing: Rent Deposit Schemes

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local housing authorities run rent deposit schemes; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

We do not have official figures on the number of local housing authorities who run rent deposit schemes. However, in 2007 Communities and Local Government published a homelessness prevention survey submitted by 301 local authorities, representing 85 per cent. of the total. 201 authorities reported that they had rent deposit schemes in place and a further 45 authorities reported that they were planning to have rent deposit schemes in place. This shows that private rented accommodation is an effective housing option for preventing homelessness and provides a viable alternative to social housing.

The Government take all aspects of homelessness very seriously. We have allocated over £200 million to local authorities and voluntary organisations over the next three years (2008-11) to tackle and prevent homelessness in their area effectively. This is the biggest ever cash injection for homelessness services. Local organisations decide, based on local circumstances, how to use those resources to prevent homelessness.

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