Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th September 2013.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless (a) children and (b) adults are in temporary accommodation in each local authority area in the West Midlands.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister for Housing

Information from the Department's statistics shows the total number of households in temporary accommodation, the number of these households that contain children or expected children and the total number of children in temporary accommodation for each local authority in the West Midlands as at 31 March 2013. I am arranging for a table to be placed in the Library of the House.

From 9 November 2012, local authorities have new powers under the Localism Act to use good-quality private rented sector accommodation to end the main homelessness duty. Families no longer need to be parked in temporary accommodation while they wait for social housing to become available.

At the same time, we have also put in place extra protection for the most vulnerable. The Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2012 will help prevent the use of temporary accommodation which is long distances from the families previous home and community.

For households already in temporary accommodation the local authority has a duty (under section 193 of the Housing Act) to find that family settled accommodation. Local authorities should continue to work with these households to discuss alternative housing options as they become available.

We are investing £470 million in homelessness prevention over four years (2011/12 - 2014/15) to help local authorities and voluntary sector partners prevent homelessness and we are continuing to support local authorities to raise their game with an additional £1.7 million over two years (2012/13 - 2013/14), for a new Gold Standard support and training scheme across the country to deliver the best possible service to those that are at risk of homelessness.

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