Commenting on yesterday's Written Ministerial Statement on homelessness, which announced £11.7m new burdens funding for implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, detailed funding allocations for local authorities and the code of guidance, Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils' Executive member for housing, said:
“The Government’s recent announcement on homelessness is a step forward. It is good to see long overdue recognition of the huge costs councils are facing as a result of the Homelessness Reduction Act, alongside some additional funding. We also welcome the delayed further detail on funding distribution and the code of guidance, although we remain concerned that it is too late to have everything in place by the April 2018 start date.
“£73m over three years nationally will not enough to deliver the broader homelessness prevention and relief services set out in the Homelessness Reduction Act. In London alone we estimate the Act will cost £77m per year to implement. However we welcome the clear indication that the actual cost incurred will be reviewed in order to enable future funding to be considered..
“There is a homelessness crisis and we lack the funding or the housing supply to relieve it. In March 2017 there were 77,240 households living in temporary accommodation nationally, an increase of 60% since March 2011. The majority of these are in London.
“It remains the case that London boroughs have increasing homelessness duties, with decreasing funds and decreasing social housing stock, and must contend with increasingly unaffordable private sector rents. We are highly motivated to prevent and relieve homelessness, but cannot adequately do so without sufficient resources and joined up policy making.”