Homelessness Action Team Extended For Another Year

The Homelessness Action Team, the joint project between the Housing Corporation and Communities and Local Government, has been extended for another 12 months to the end of March 2009 due to the success of its first year’s work, the Housing Corporation announced.

The team’s main aim is to reduce homelessness and the number of households in temporary accommodation, contributing to the Government target to halve this figure by 2010, and to disseminate best practice. The team has a national remit with a particular focus on London. 

The Homelessness Action Team has carried out a wide-ranging programme to tackle homelessness, with key highlights including:

    * publishing the Homelessness Toolkit for use by the housing association sector
    * working with housing associations on their strategies to combat homelessness resulting in 63 associations appointing homelessness champions
    * facilitating effective partnership working between local authorities and housing associations to develop joint responses to homelessness and make the best use of stock.

During the Homelessness Action Team’s first year, numbers in temporary accommodation have reduced nationally by 10,000.  In London, numbers in temporary accommodation have reduced by 7%, homelessness acceptances have been reduced by 16%, and the number of 16 and 17 year-olds in bed and breakfast hostels have reduced from over 500 to less than 300.

Rona Nicholson, Director of the Housing Corporation’s London Field, and the Corporation’s lead on tackling homelessness comments, “I am delighted that the Homelessness Action Team has made such an impact in its first year and that it has gained a further year’s joint funding.

“Clearly there is much more that needs to be done to tackle homelessness both in London and across the country, as we move further towards meeting the Government targets.  I am confident that the team’s excellent work with housing associations and local authorities nation wide, and especially in London, will continue to make a real difference to peoples’ success in tackling homelessness across the country,  helping transform peoples’ lives for the better.”

Terri Alafat, Director of Housing Strategy and Support at Communities and Local Government said, “We have made very significant progress in tackling all forms of homelessness over the last year.  This includes reducing levels of homelessness acceptances, the use of temporary accommodation and, in particular, cutting youth homelessness.   We have halved the number of 16 and 17 year olds living in bed and breakfast hotels since September last year, and local authorities are well on their way to meeting the Government target of no 16 and 17 year olds in bed and breakfast hotels by 2010.  Local housing authorities deserve much credit for these successes.

“There is still much work to be done to ensure that those who are considered the most disadvantaged are given the opportunity to become part of a more inclusive society, but this is a task that the Government, local authorities, housing associations and the Housing Corporation are committed to.”