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The statutory requirement to consider ‘reasonable preference’ prioritises social housing for those who need it the most. The provisions in the Housing and Planning Act that ensure new tenancies are regularly reviewed will enable councils to get the best use out of their social housing.
To enable local authorities to help claimants affected by changes to Housing Benefit who need extra support, we have also increased the level of funding for Discretionary Housing Payment to £870 million in total across this Parliament – a notional 55 per cent increase compared to the previous Parliament.
Whilst households who face homelessness need suitable, settled accommodation it does not always need to be social housing. That is why we changed the law to allow authorities to make offers of good quality private rented sector accommodation. Since 2010 our homelessness prevention funding has helped local authorities and homelessness charities prevent almost a million households from becoming homeless. We want this work to continue and that is why we have maintained and protected homelessness prevention funding though the local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20.
The government is also committed to delivering affordable housing. Twice as much council housing has been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years. The Spending Review in 2016 allocated £8 billion to deliver 400,000 affordable homes this parliament.