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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2012): Homelessness - UK

Charities fear 5m fund to help homeless has been diverted by mayor of London

D. Brindle

The Guardian, Apr. 10th 2012, p. 11

Homelessness charities feared that the London mayor, Boris Johnson, had skimmed off more than 5m of government funding intended to help rough sleepers and diverted it to other purposes. The cash had gone missing from Johnson's budget for support for rough sleepers, which was wholly underwritten by Whitehall. Repeated efforts by the charities had failed to win assurances that it would be restored. At a time of rising homelessness, services for people sleeping on the streets of the capital faced cutbacks or closure if the money was not reinstated.

Safe as houses

G. Scott

Mental Health Today, Mar./Apr. 2012, p. 12-13

Without stable accommodation, people with offending histories and mental health problems are more likely to be trapped in a cycle of crisis and crime. However, there remains an absence of clear pathways into stable housing for mentally disordered offenders. In the UK, generally a linear and treatment first approach to housing people with complex needs prevails. This approach involves moving people through different services, including emergency shelters, transitional housing and supported housing, towards independent living. The effectiveness of this approach for people with complex needs has been questioned, and some organisations are experimenting with the Housing First model developed in the United States. This approach is based on the premise that housing is a basic human right, and clients with complex needs are placed immediately into independent tenancies.

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