Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered at on 9 June 2020.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department is providing to local authorities to ensure that people who are homeless are supported into housing.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We recognise the challenges that local authorities may face in providing accommodation as they fulfil their homelessness duties, especially during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. To support local authorities effectively, the funding for 2020/21 includes:

  • The Flexible Homelessness Support Grant of £200 million which seeks to help local authorities plan and respond to their local homelessness pressures; and
  • £63 million Homelessness Reduction Grant to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act enabling local authorities to do more to prevent and relieve homelessness in their areas.

This is in addition to the £160 million allocation for the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Project, which seeks to provide thousands of long-term, safe homes for vulnerable rough sleepers taken off the streets during the Covid-19 pandemic and the £112 million Rough Sleeping Initiative fund. This fund is designed to support the establishment or enhancement of coordinated local services for rough sleepers, or those at risk of sleeping rough.

To enable local authorities to respond to Covid-19 pressures specifically, we have made over £3.2 billion of additional funding available for their response across the services they deliver including helping homeless people. This is in addition to £3.2 million targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those rough sleepers currently unable to self-isolate.

Additionally, in April 2020 the Government increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants to the 30th percentile of market rents. This will mean it will be easier for local authorities to fulfil their homelessness duties by assisting people to find suitable and affordable accommodation in the private rented sector.

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