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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Homelessness - UK

HOMELESS FAMILIES FACE BREAK-UP

R. Campbell

Roof, Jan/Feb. 2002, p.13

Homeless children risk being separated from their families and placed in foster care under new interpretations of sections 17(i) and 20 of the Children Act 1989. Hard pressed social services may find it cheaper to put the children in care than to pay for private rented accommodation to rehouse the family.

A JOB OFFER THAT WILL TRANSFORM A LIFE

A. Maitland

Financial Times, Dec. 19th 2001, p. 17

Describes the role of Business in the Community in helping homeless people to find work. Activities include organising "pre-employment" workshops, and work experience placements.

LEFT WITH NO CHOICE

C. Holmes

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2002, p. 40

Argues that the rise in numbers of homeless households being placed in temporary accommodation is due to the falling share of lettings by both local authorities and housing associations going to them.

THE RESPONSIBILITY TO CARE FOR SINGLE HOMELESS PEOPLE

M. Crane and A.M. Warnes

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 436-444

Paper identifies several features of the obligations, organisation and practice of the UK's welfare agencies that leads to single homeless people not receiving health, housing and social services. The legal and institutional framework combines with the passivity of both the public sector providers and the potential recipients to create persistently unserved groups. Responsibility for provision of services to rough sleepers has rested with central government since 1990. It may be transferred to local authorities in 2002 if the Homes Bill becomes law. Proposes that responsibility for vulnerable single homeless people should be given to local authority social services departments, who would commission specialist voluntary sector agencies to provide necessary services.

ROUGH FIGURES?

R. Winchester

Community Care, Jan. 10th-16th 2002, p. 28-30

Although the Rough Sleepers Unit has been apparently successful in reducing street sleeping, the new Homelessness Directorate will face more severe challenges in meeting the housing needs of other vulnerable groups. This is due to:

  • the lack of affordable accommodation;
  • the vagaries of the housing benefit system.

These discourage landlords from temporarily renting accommodation to homeless people, as delays mean that they may never get paid.

WANTED: 11,000 LANDLORDS

M. Delargy

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2002, p. 14-15

Ashley Horsey, the Head of the newly formed Bed and Breakfast Unit, explains his strategy for reducing the numbers of homeless families so housed. Measures proposed include:

  • more use of private rented sector to accommodate homeless families;
  • reduction of housing benefit delays;
  • target setting.
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