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LGA - Budget 2016: Councils respond to homelessness measures

Cllr Peter Box, Housing spokesman for the Local Government Association, responds to new measures to tackle homelessness announced in the Budget.

"It is a tragedy when anyone becomes homeless and councils have strategies in place to prevent it happening in the first place. This not only includes placing people in accommodation but also focuses on helping people develop the skills needed to find work or improving their health and wellbeing. Any additional support will help and councils must have the full funding and flexibilities to respond to local need.

"Councils are desperate to build the new homes that meet local need but housing reforms that reduce rents and force councils to sell their homes will make building new homes, including supported housing for the vulnerable, far more difficult. This risks leaving councils with fewer options but to place vulnerable homelessness people in the more expensive private rented sector.

"With 68,000 people already currently living in temporary accommodation, more than a million more on council waiting lists and annual homelessness spending of £330 million – there is a real fear that this lack of homes will increase homelessness and its associated costs." 

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