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ARCH annual report


The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.


Download it here.

Government needs a new Homelessness Strategy 01/09/2016

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee has issued its report and findings on its inquiry into homelessness.


ARCH submitted evidence to the CLG Select Committee Inquiry earlier this year. We argued that:


  • homelessness has been increasing over the last five years
  • local authorities have been less able to respond effectively over the same period
  • over the next five years, both trends are set to continue, causing considerable difficulties for local authorities and a very poor outlook for many of those applying for help because they're homeless
  • the forced sale of council houses and the measures in the Housing and Planning Bill were likely to result in an overall loss of social rented housing available to house homeless households
  • there should be a renewed focus on developing measures through which local authorities can more effectively prevent homelessness, particularly that arising in the private rented sector and where withdrawal or reduction of benefits is a prime cause.


In their report, the CLG Select Committee found that a shortage of social housing means many people rely on the private rented sector to avoid or escape homelessness, but often the financial barriers or instability of tenancies are too great. It urges the government to work with local authorities to deliver homes for affordable rent and says local housing benefit levels should be reviewed to more closely reflect market rents.


The report says that a demonstrable increase in homelessness, driven by the cost and availability of housing, has pushed the problem to such a level that a renewed government-wide strategy is needed.


The report is complemented by the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member's Bill presented by Committee member, Bob Blackman MP, and supported by the other members of the Committee. The Committee will take evidence on the Bill, which is aimed at improving the support and advice offered to all homeless people, once it has been published. It's unusual for a Select Committee to not only sponsor a Bill on the back of an inquiry in this way but also conduct pre-legislative scrutiny on it. The Bill is expected to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on 28 October 2016.


Read the full report.

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