The effect of council budget cuts on single homeless people

  • Freedom of Information Act requests reveal how single homeless people have been affected by council budget cuts.

    Since the last election councils across England have slashed funding for single homeless people support services by over a quarter, reports Inside Housing. Out On The Streets...

    Research using the Freedom of Information Act by Inside Housing found 77 local authorities cut a total of £34m from their housing-related support budgets for homeless individuals between 2010/11 and 2013/14 - a drop of 26 per cent.

    Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, warned single homeless individuals were being hit ‘disproportionately' with cuts to ‘vital' services at a time when rough sleeping rose by 5 per cent to 2,414 in England during 2013.

    "Single homeless people don't do well most of the time [when it comes to state funding]," she said. "They are not a politically popular group."

    Mark McPherson, a director for the umbrella body Homeless Link said the budgets cuts since 2010 meant many charities were having to "reduce their range of services, staffing and support levels".

    "As a result, more services than ever report restricting access to people with high levels of need or perceived risk," he added.

    Audrey Mitchell, director of client services at Home Group, said: "repeated cuts prevent us providing services to vulnerable people whose needs then become more extreme."

    Support budgets for single homeless people are used to fund services for those who are not judged to be in ‘priority need'. These might include helping people secure accommodation or funding back-to-work projects.

    A Newham spokesperson said: "The government's unfair budget cuts and welfare reforms are making [providing homelessness services] increasingly difficult."

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