Survey finds funding pressures hit support for the homeless

  • A survey by Homeless Link finds that many homelessness projects have reduced complex needs support as the demand has risen.

    Homeless Link's annual review of the homeless support sector has found that almost one in ten homelessness projects had restricted the support they offer to people with the most complex of needs over the past year, reports Community Care. Homeless

    The report also found that 91% of accommodation projects had refused access to people assessed as too high-risk in the last year compared to 79% in the year before. Projects are also turning away people whose needs are deemed too great to manage.

    "Across the sector, projects are reporting that clients with increasingly complex needs are using their services," says the report. "It could be that day centres are becoming more chaotic as a result, putting off lower support clients from attending."

    The report also found that 38% of supported accommodation projects saw their income fall between 2012 and 2013 and 26% of day centres saw their money reduce also.

    The survey questioned 459 homelessness agencies in England and found there were 1,104 fewer beds for single homeless people in 2013 than in 2012.

    The report also says that the government's benefit changes are having a significant impact with 69% of projects saying they were concerned about benefit sanctions for homeless people.

    Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link has said: "It is encouraging that despite several years of falling funding, homeless charities have continued to meet the high demand for help. However, the housing crisis is putting this good work at risk. Many individuals are simply ending up stuck in services, unable to find a home of their own because they can't rent or no one will rent to them."

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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


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