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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made to determine the scale of homelessness in the United Kingdom; how it is being tackled and by whom; and what new or additional initiatives they plan to undertake to facilitate satisfactory outcomes for homeless people.
Local authorities in England collect and report data on the levels of homelessness on a quarterly basis which are published in the homelessness live tables at:
Homelessness remains lower than in 27 of the last 30 years and figures for 2013-14 show that homelessness acceptances in England fell 3% compared to 2012-13.
England has one of the strongest safety nets in the world, protected in law, requiring local authorities to secure accommodation for any eligible person who finds themselves homeless through no fault of their own and who is in priority need. This Government has increased investment to £500 million to support local authorities and voluntary sector agencies to prevent and tackle homelessness and since July 2010 this has helped prevent 700,000 cases of homelessness by finding new accommodation or helping people stay in their own home. We fund the National Practitioner Support Service to help local authorities continuously improve their frontline housing services so to better support and protect homeless households. We have also invested over £10 million in the National Homelessness Advice Service that ensure that frontline staff receive the support they need to provide a professional service, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The £8 million Help for Single Homeless Fund is supporting 34 local authority partnerships to improve services for 22,000 individuals with multiple needs across 168 local authorities. We are helping vulnerable single homeless such as ex-offenders and rough sleepers to find and sustain accommodation in the private rented sector through our £13 million funding to Crisis. By 2016 we expect the Crisis scheme to have helped 10,000 single homeless people since it started in 2010. This Government is also doing more to combat youth homelessness through the new, innovative £15 million Fair Chance Fund programme that will help turn the lives around of 1,600 high needs young people.