Homeless and Health providers will have access to new funds for local innovation to tackle the most difficult cases
How this money will flow through new integrated arrangements, and whether it will need legislation, will be clearer and addressed in budgets by the time of the 2016 Homeless Health & Inclusion annual symposium for health and local government professionals in March 2016 from which a series of online TV briefings and staff induction toolkits will follow for use across the services.
Homelessness and Health are often intrinsically linked and breaking the cycle of health crises being triggered by homelessness and vice versa is moving to the centre of government thinking.
Local authorities will also be given more control and flexibility over homelessness budgets by devolving the funding for managing temporary accommodation – which could provide openings for better discharge and resettlement of homeless people with multiple health or mental health needs.
The package of measures announced by the Communities Minister on the last day of parliament included
- maintaining and protecting homelessness prevention funding for local authorities, through the provisional local government finance settlement totalling £315m by 2019 to 2020.
- A commitment to work with homelessness organisations and across departments to consider options, including legislation to prevent more people from becoming homeless.
- And, £40m from the Department of Healthto refurbish hostels and provide low cost shared accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness.
Communities Minister Marcus Jones MP said: “We are committed to helping the most vulnerable people in our society. The protection of the Homeless Prevention Grant in the Local Government Finance Settlement shows our continued commitment to tackling homelessness.
“Statutory homelessness acceptances are now less than half the 2003 to 2004 peak but we are determined to ensure that anybody who needs help gets it.
“We have made over £500m available since 2010, which has prevented nearly a million people becoming homeless. We are committed to build on this over the next four years and work with the sector to do all we can to prevent homelessness.”
In addition to the new measures, the government has also announced a new £5m fund that will help 25 councils facing the greatest pressure in temporary accommodation.
The announcements build on the Spending Review commitment to £139 million over the next four years for central government funding to tackle homelessness.