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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Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services