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Homelessness

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how the sum of £250 million, recently allocated by his Department to tackle homelessness, will be distributed to provide accommodation for the households accepted as homeless by local authorities.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 15 November, over the next two years we are making an extra £177 million available to local authorities, and an extra £73 million to the Housing Corporation (for distribution to housing associations), for homelessness projects in the "pressure areas" of London and the south-east. The aim is to secure extra lettings for homeless families currently in bed and breakfast accommodation. We have invited bids from local authorities in London and the south-east. Similarly, the Housing Corporation has invited bids from housing associations.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a further statement on his plans to reduce homelessness.

On 15 November my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a substantial package of measures to relieve and reduce homelessness, following our thorough review of the legislation. Since then, I have invited bids from local authorities in the pressure areas of London and the south-east for projects under the £250 million of extra resources available (and the Housing Corporation has invited bids from housing associations). I have announced that councils will be able to continue existing leasing schemes for a further period of three years, without affecting their capital allocations, to ensure that homeless families are not returned to bed and breakfast accommodations; and I have visited various voluntary organisations to discuss the enhanced role we would like them to play, with increased Government funding.