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Volume 623: debated on Wednesday 15 March 2017

At autumn statement 2015 the Government announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) temporary accommodation management fee would be replaced by increased funding to local authorities to give them more control and flexibility to tackle homelessness.

I am pleased to inform you that we have today announced the allocations for the Department for Communities and Local Government’s new flexible homelessness support grant which will replace the DWP fee from April this year. The total funding over two years is £402 million. Attachments with details of allocations and methodology can be found online.

We have published the funding allocations for the grant over two years so councils will know with more certainty how much they will receive under the new system. We will announce allocations for 2019-20 during 2017-18. The funding has been allocated according to a formula which reflects relative homeless pressures, while at the same time aiming to protect local authorities which currently have high levels of temporary accommodation.

No authority will receive an annual allocation less than we estimate they would have received under the DWP fee—assuming rising levels of demand.

The new grant gives councils more control and flexibility over homelessness budgets. It forms part of the Government’s end-to-end approach to tackling homelessness, helping both those at risk of homelessness and those experiencing a crisis. It sits alongside other funding for homelessness, including the £315 million homelessness prevention funding, our recently announced £50 million homelessness prevention package and the £61 million new burdens funding for the Homelessness Reduction Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman), which will significantly reform England’s homelessness legislation and ensure that more people get the help they need to prevent them becoming homeless.

In order to manage the transition to a new funding regime carefully, we are ring-fencing the grant for two years to ensure it is spent on homelessness services.

In recognition of the particular challenges faced by London boroughs, we have set aside £25 million of the funding over the next two years. Before making final decisions on the allocation of this funding we will work with the Greater London Authority and London boroughs to consider ways of helping councils to collaborate in the procurement of accommodation for homeless households.

In designing the grant, we worked with local housing authorities across the country, including all London boroughs.

The attachments can be viewed online at: