The government has announced a ‘Gold Standard’ initiative to improve the homelessness services in England.
It will be funded with £1.7 million to give training and support to local authorities, for them to improve their prevention services and adopt the No Second Night Out scheme.
Under the new initiative, councils are given standards that they must achieve to gain ‘gold standard status’.
These include offering a comprehensive prevention service, helping householders faced with repossession and adopting the no second night out scheme, which has been effectively used in areas of England so far to prevent a person spending a second night sleeping rough.
The first ten councils to achieve the status will give advice and support to other local authorities who have not yet managed it.
Prevention is the key to the new initiative, and the government are expecting to save as it will reduce the need for costly emergency support such as bed and breakfast accommodation.
A large portion of the funding will be used to set up the National Practicioner Support, which is a support team from Winchester council for free training and support to local authorities. They will also help councils find areas that they need to improve by setting up an online toolkit.
This will be supported by the current National Homelessness Advice Service.
Housing minister Mark Prisk said:
We have one of the strongest safety nets in the world against homelessness, backed with £470m government funding. It is vital this continues to protect the most vulnerable in society.
That’s why we’re investing £1.7m in this Gold Standard Scheme, helping councils across the country learn from each other to deliver the best possible service, and ensuring that those facing the threat of losing their home get the support they need.
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