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Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the correlation between the indicators of deprivation used by his Department to distribute local authority finance and actual levels of homelessness in each authority. [99733]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and local authority groups considered a range of indicators to reflect the costs of providing services to homeless people during the recent review of the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services block formula. These costs vary significantly around the country and it is clear that they are related to the balance between demand and the supply of available housing in each area. However no workable formula to measure this balance or otherwise model homelessness expenditure was found. The EPCS formula has also to take account of a substantial number of other important services.The new EPCS formula contains deprivation indicators that reflect the additional costs of provision across the full range of EPCS services.