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Homeless Persons

Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given to local authorities and voluntary organisations during the financial year 1973–74 towards projects set up under her Department Circular 37/72 on homeless single persons in need of care and support; which voluntary organisations have been assisted; and what is her estimate of the assistance to be given during the current financial year.

My Department has no power to give financial assistance for local authority projects for homeless single people. Such projects would be eligible for urban aid or loan approval. Although grants are normally made only to voluntary organisations operating nationally some grants are exceptionally made to local projects in this field, and in 1973–74 these totalled £78,500. The organisations receiving assistance were:

LANCE: Lancashire project of National Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
Brook House, Liverpool.
John Bellers Ltd.: associated with the Peter Bedford Project.
During 1974–75 my Department estimates that the expenditure will be over £90,000.


asked the Secreary of State for Social Services what plans she has to publish the findings of the survey of statutory and voluntary accommodation used nightly by single homeless people.

I understand that the census of hostels and lodging houses conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in October 1972 should be published in the middle of this year.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many beds are made available for single men and women, who would otherwise be homeless, by Government reception centres, voluntary hostels and shelters, commercial lodging houses or other accommodation in England and Wales.

The number of beds currently available in Government reception centres in England and Wales is 2,674. The latest available information about other accommodation for single men and women relates to October 1972, when a census of hostels and lodging houses, conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, found available, in England and Wales, 3,492 beds in local authority establishments, 12,943 in voluntary organisations and 10,162 in commercial establishments. Beds in private houses where accommodation is provided for fewer than six persons in furnished rooms were not included in the census.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given by her Department to institutions and organisations conducting research into homelessness among single people during the financial year 1973–74; to which projects this assistance was given; and what is the budget for this item during the current financial year.

In 1973–74 grants totalling £70,790 were made for research into aspects of homelessness among single people: to Christian Action for a pilot study on research into juvenile homelessness in the London area, to be followed by a main study, under the auspices of Hatfield Polytechnic; to the St. Mungo Community Trust for an action research project in the resettlement of homeless single men; and to the London University Institute of Psychiatry for the evaluation of the St. Mungo Trust's action research. In addition, the University of Southampton carried out a case study of single homelessness in Southampton as part of a grant-aided study of social services departments.The budget for 1974–75 is £95,000.