Government launches £20m fund to help homeless into housing

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, has welcomed the launch of a £20m fund for local authorities to combat homelessness.

The money aims to help up to 9,000 people who are or are at risk of becoming homeless secure private rented accommodation, and is modelled on a successful programme run by homeless charity Crisis that helped thousands of homeless people into tenancies.

The boost to funding comes hot on the heels of the introduction of a new responsibility for key public bodies such as prisons, job centres and NHS trusts to refer people at risk of homelessness to local councils. The duty to refer is part of the Homelessness Reduction Act, passed by Parliament last year.

Mr Stephenson said: “Although homelessness in Pendle remains at historically low levels, I know concern about this issue is widely shared. It is important the Government continues to work to make sure the most vulnerable have a roof over their head. This additional funding will help councils provide the support they need.”

Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “It is vital we give people facing homelessness a route out of it and a chance to rebuild their lives. The private rented sector has an important role in this.

“This £20 million fund will allow councils to put in place vital new schemes so that those at risk will have the support to secure their own tenancy.”