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Supporting People Programme

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1284-85W, on homelessness, what definition of housing-related support the Supporting People programme has; who the Supporting People programme aims to help; whether further expenditure is planned; and how many of the 40 court desks providing free legal representation at repossession hearings are available in courts serving Sefton and Liverpool. (262999)

The Supporting People programme defines housing related support as:

“Support services which are provided to any person for the purpose of developing that person’s capacity to live independently in accommodation, or sustaining their capacity to do so”.

The Supporting People programme’s main aim is to help end social exclusion by preventing crisis and more costly service intervention and enabling vulnerable people to live independently both in their own home and within their community. The Supporting People programme helps a wide range of vulnerable people including: older people, victims of domestic violence, teenage parents, people with learning difficulties, the homeless and those with mental health problems.

In December 2007 we announced a further £4.9 billion funding up to 31 March 2011 for the Supporting People programme.

The Legal Services Commission has lead responsibility for funding court desks. Since 2008 Communities and Local Government have been working closely with the Legal Services Commission to increase coverage of this service by funding around 40 of the smaller desks throughout England. Communities and Local Government has offered to continue funding these desks in 2009-10.

The court desks serving Sefton and Liverpool are funded by the Legal Services Commission.

Court desks that provide free legal representation at repossession hearings are successful in avoiding immediate repossession in 85 per cent. of cases where people attend court.