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Homelessness: Sefton

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps have been taken to provide housing advice to homeless people in Sefton; (325002)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 1035W, on homelessness: Sefton, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the incidence of youth homelessness in Sefton.

The homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) places a general duty on housing authorities to have a strategy for preventing and tackling homelessness in their area and to ensure that advice and assistance about preventing homelessness is available free of charge to everyone in their area.

We have allocated a total of £186,000 to Sefton over the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11 to support their homelessness strategy. In addition, we have allocated £85,500 to Sefton over the year 2009-10 to help families at risk of homelessness through repossession or eviction.

This grant helps assist people of all ages and a proportion of this money will be spent on young people based on a local authority's need. We cannot disaggregate actual spend on young people but in England in the last quarter 39 per cent. of households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty were aged 16-24 years.

The Supporting People programme provides revenue funds for local authorities to commission housing related support services for vulnerable people in their area, to enable them to achieve and maintain independence. In 2008-09 Sefton spent £7,466,593 of their funding allocated through the Supporting People programme on housing related support services.

Supporting People is a locally managed and delivered programme. Local authorities are responsible for making the strategic decisions regarding the programme including deciding what services to commission to meet local needs and priorities.