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ARCH annual report

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

 

Download it here.

Review of homelessness legislation 13/05/2016

A panel of housing experts, organised by homelessness charity Crisis, has recommended Ministers introduce new duties on councils to prevent people becoming homeless.

 

Crisis established an independent panel to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current homelessness legislation in England and consider whether reforms could be made to the legislation to place a more effective and inclusive duty on local authorities to prevent and relieve homelessness.

 

As we previously reported, there has been speculation that the Westminster Government may announce plans for the introduction of new homelessness legislation in the Queen's Speech on the 18 May. This follows a decision last year by the Welsh Government which imposed a duty on councils to prevent homelessness within 56 days, backed with £4.9m for 2015/16.

 

The report makes a case for new legislation in England to strengthen the current duty for local authorities to provide advice and practical support that can prevent single people and other "non-priority need" households becoming homeless. It suggests councils should be legally required to start preventative work much earlier than the current 28 days before homelessness is imminent.

 

ARCH believes that any extension of homelessness responsibilities on local authorities will need to carry additional financial resources.

 

In a parallel move the Local Government Association (LGA) has commissioned a project to explore how public service reforms can better support councils and their partners to reduce homelessness. It has begun the process of establishing the opportunities for local government in the current climate, working with others, to do more to address homelessness. The project will also identify what needs to be different nationally to enable this. With support from Gill Leng, as an external advisor, this process will engage national partners and local government, concluding with a final report launch in the Summer. Gill is very interested to understand the perspectives of stock-holding councils and landlord services, and to identify existing and emerging practice that could form part of the solution going forward.

 

To find out more and get in touch please visit the Homelessness Project website.

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