Government homelessness scheme shunned by councils
A report has found that London boroughs are “increasingly unwilling” to take part in the government’s programme for single homeless people.
A report published by the London Assembly’s housing committee has said that councils were reluctant to host ‘hubs’ for the No Second Night Out scheme, which is a nationwide programme that helps rough sleepers find alternative accommodation, reports Inside Housing.
The scheme initialy began in London in 2011 and was rolled out nationwide in 2012 using funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which provides a number of assessment hub facilities.
‘Some boroughs are increasingly unwilling to take on responsibility for hosting the London-wide NSNO hubs which are essential to this provision,’ the report said.
It concluded that this may be because councils fear that the ‘hubs would act as a magnet, drawing in more homeless people with little local return.’
The report said support services offered to rough sleepers were sometimes ‘inadequate or even inappropriate’.
It said was a ‘big variation in provision across different boroughs, and often a serious shortage of accommodation for people moving on from emergency hostels’.
Jacqui McCluskey director of policy and communications for the umbrella body Homeless Link said: “London has made real progress when it comes to helping new rough sleepers off the streets but more needs to be done to prevent the issue in the first place. All too often people just don’t get the advice or offer of accommodation that could make that critical difference. Councils in the capital are under severe pressure but we would welcome any steps that make getting help easier. Preventing rough sleeping is not only good for individuals but saves tax payers money.”
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