Homelessness ‘will soar without support services’

A new report by the Salvation Army is calling on the Government to fund homelessness support services properly in this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

Without this, it warns that homelessness and rough sleeping will soar, and that families will be forced into expensive and unsuitable temporary accommodation, as councils struggle to manage rising homelessness levels.

The charity’s report, ‘Future-proof the roof’, sets out a range of solutions to sustain the progress made in recent months in helping rough sleepers off the streets.

It says that temporary accommodation cost councils nearly £1 billion last year.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing Spokesperson, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the significant challenges councils already faced supporting homeless people.  

“In the short term, to prevent any immediate rise in homelessness, the Government should bring forward its pledge to end ‘no fault evictions’, which would help reduce the number of people evicted, and commit to maintaining local housing allowance rates at the lowest third of market rents. 

“In the longer term, housing must be a central part of the recovery from coronavirus, with the CSR delivering a genuine renaissance in council house building that reduces homelessness, gets rough sleepers off the streets for good, supports people’s wellbeing and is climate-friendly.”

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