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Homelessness: London

Volume 655: debated on Monday 4 March 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for his interesting question. Preventing and reducing homelessness and rough sleeping are key priorities for this Government. We have implemented the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and allocated more than £1.2 billion in funding through to 2020. Through the rapid rehousing pathway early adopters, we will enable more than 80 navigators to work with up to 1,600 rough sleepers.

Scots account for 12% of the homeless population in London. Borderline is the only charity that provides support to Scots in London, yet, astonishingly, the Scottish Government stopped its funding last year. Will the Minister join me in congratulating Borderline on the work that it has done and continues to do? What more can this Government do to support homeless Scots in London?

I thank my hon. Friend for his tenacious work in looking after Scots wherever they might be, north or south. The withdrawal of that funding is, sadly, a matter for the Scottish Government, but we have allocated more than £220 million of funding to London, largely through the flexible homelessness support grant and the Move On fund. Our expert advisers are supporting local authorities to tailor their services according to local need, particularly for our Scottish friends.

The number of homeless households seeking help in Hounslow—including some from Scotland—has doubled in the past 10 months. Hounslow has an admirable record, including a five-year programme of delivering 3,000 new social rent homes, yet it is losing council stock faster through the right to buy. Will the Government recognise that they have to take responsibility for delivering adequate numbers of social rent housing in order to deal with the homelessness crisis?

The hon. Lady is quite right to say that ensuring that we have enough affordable homes in London and elsewhere is a high priority for this Government, which is why we changed the rules on housing revenue account funding, and I look forward to the authority building even more houses than it has already.