Charities fear for homelessness strategy
- 05 Sep
The removal of a key civil servant leaves charities accusing the government of "diluting" its homelessness strategy.
Director of homelessness and support at the Communities and Local Government department, Jon Bright, is retiring this year and his role is being made redundant to save money, report Inside Housing.
The director of housing growth and affordable housing at the CLG, Terrie Alafat, is due to take over Bright's responsibility for homelessness and supported housing during a restructure aimed to be completed by the end of September.
The reogranisation is suggested to be a "direct result of cost reductions and the diluting of the homelessness agenda by the government" says Mike Barrett, chief executive of homelessness charity Porchlight. "While Terrie is extremely capable and knowledgeable, my fear is that she will be spread too thinly," he said. "I would call on her to try to refocus the government's mind on the importance of supported housing and stop the destruction of vital services."
Chris Briggs, a board member of homelessness charity Emmaus UK said he ‘would worry that removing a dedicated post will impact on the government's commitment to reducing homelessness'.
The CLG has been criticised for scrapping its homelessness prevention advisors last March, despite a 6% rise in the problem over the last two financial years.
Ms Alafat has previously worked as director of housing delivery and homelessness at the CLG so will be a familiar face to those in the homelessness sector.
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd