"The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the significant challenges councils already faced supporting homeless people."
Responding to a report by the Salvation Army calling for homelessness services to be properly funded in this Autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Cllr David Renard, Local Government Association 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 Spending Review 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.”
Notes to editors
In 2018/19 alone, councils overspent on homelessness services by a combined total of £140 million due to an increase in demand for support, and a lack of affordable housing to accommodate people at risk of homelessness.
The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.
It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and three quarters are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.