Government calls for feedback on Homelessness Reduction Act
Published 01/10/2019 by Lisa Naylor
Around 726 homeless people died in 2018 in England and Wales, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, a rise of 22% in a year that was fuelled in part by drug poisoning, which has increased among the homeless by 55% (compared to 16% among the population as a whole).
These statistics sit starkly alongside the government’s Homelessness Reduction Act, which was introduced in April last year. The Act places new duties on housing authorities to intervene earlier to prevent homelessness and to take reasonable steps to relieve homelessness for all eligible applicants in an attempt to halve the number of rough sleepers by 2022.
Just over a year on, the government is seeking to ensure that the legislation is working and that local government and its partners have the tools and support to effectively implement and operate the Act. The call for evidence seeks to gather information on the following:
- The impact the Act has had and the outcomes that are being achieved.
- How the Act has changed the approach of local housing authorities and their partners to tackling homelessness and supporting those in need.
- The experience of people approaching their local housing authority for help.
- How the implementation of the Act has been resourced, including the level of new burdens funding to assist this.
- What elements of the Act and processes are working well, and which might need adjustment.
The full list of questions to be addressed has been published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and while the consultation is open to everyone, the Ministry is particularly keen to hear from people who work in, or with, local housing authorities. The deadline is 15th October 2019 and responses can be submitted both by survey