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Unemployment: Housing Problems

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her strategy is for helping unemployed homeless people and people living in unsettled accommodation, including hostels, into employment and independent living. (157406)

The Government recognise that training and employment are a key route out of homelessness. Our homelessness strategy “Sustainable Communities: Settled Homes; Changing Lives” (2005) includes a programme of work across Government to tackle the wider causes and symptoms of homelessness, including improving access to benefits, training and employment.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is working closely with DWP, Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, the voluntary and community sector, and the private sector on a number of initiatives, including

The Hostels Capital Improvement Programme is providing funding of over £90 million for 178 projects in 62 local authority areas to improve the physical condition of hostels and day centres and transform their services to put activity, training, work, education and social enterprise at the heart of their ethos.

Through the Invest to Save Budget, the Government are supporting the Transitional Spaces Project led by Off the Streets and Into Work project, which plans to work with hostel residents to build their skills and gain sustainable employment.

Government are supporting the Working Future pilot, which is testing the impact of reduced rents and increased access to employment services on work incentives for families with dependent children in private sector leased temporary accommodation in East London.

The Department also continues to support a number of organisations, including Business Action on Homelessness and the Construction Youth Trust, working to support people who have experienced homelessness into work.

Ongoing work with DWP includes reforming the housing benefit subsidy regime to reflect the true costs of temporary accommodation, and supporting DWP's ongoing improvements to housing benefit administration.

The Government are committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable adults are offered the chance to get back on a path to a more successful life, by increasing the proportion of socially excluded adults in settled accommodation and in employment, education or training.