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DCLG consults on guidance for Homelessness Reduction Act

Ministers are consulting on how councils should implement the Homelessness Reduction Act, which takes effect in April 2018.

New guidance is subject to an eight-week consultation, on the provision of services to all people at risk of becoming homeless, in addition to the existing requirement to assist those with a priority need.

The Government said it would provide councils with an additional £11.7m in new burdens funding for this, taking the total amount to £72.7m over two years.

There will also be a government contribution to the £3m estimated to be needed to upgrade data systems.

The consultation seeks views on making information and advice about homelessness available to all residents free of charge, tailoring advice to the needs of vulnerable groups, and providing help to prevent and relieve homelessness for all eligible applicants.

It also includes issues around working collaboratively with people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, to agree a personalised housing plan and securing suitable safe accommodation.

Homelessness minister Marcus Jones said: “Local authorities play a vital role in implementing the Act. Therefore the guidance and government funding will support them in making sure people will get the help they need earlier to prevent them becoming homeless in the first place.”

Mark Smulian