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Homelessness: Hostels

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the regulatory regime is for homeless hostels. (126841)

Hostels are already regulated. Most are owned by registered social landlords (RSLs) and so are regulated by the Housing Corporation. This ensures that hostels have appropriate procedures in place to ensure that the hostel has the right management systems for maintaining good quality temporary homes and, where suitable, the right level of support services.

Services in hostels which are funded by Supporting People (SP) are expected to work to minimum standards of service provision set out in an SP quality assessment framework. All services are also subject to review to ensure that they provide a good quality service to their users, are value for money and meet objectives sat out in local SP strategies and other local and national strategies.

In addition, we have published a best practice toolkit to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of hostels and are investing £90 million in a hostels capital improvement programme to help improve the physical standards and reshape services in hostels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made by the Hostels Capital Improvement Programme in improving the quality of life of homeless people; and if she will make a statement. (126851)

The Hostels Capital Improvement Programme has made significant progress. Over £90 million is going to be invested in around 150 projects in 47 local authority areas. The funding is underpinned by the need to change the very nature of hostels to provide better opportunities for people who have experienced homelessness and prevent them from becoming homeless again. Through the programme, hostels will cease to be places of last resort, but instead will be centres of excellence and choice which positively change lives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the appropriateness of the current balance between first stage and second stage hostel accommodation. (126852)

It is the responsibility of local authorities, in discussion with stakeholders, to consider the need for hostel provision in their areas to help inform their homelessness strategies and supporting people strategies. This will enable authorities to make an assessment of needs and resources, identifying gaps in the system and setting priorities.

My Department will shortly be publishing a 'Review of hostels for rough sleepers in London'. Part of this research looks at move-on accommodation.