Homelessness specialist

Senior reporter, Inside Housing

Sophie Barnes

Senior reporter

E-mail: sophie.barnes@insidehousing.co.uk

Phone: 020 7772 8436

Fax: 020 7772 8591


London council investigates mistaken call for temporary accommodation payment

28/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Westminster Council has launched an urgent investigation after a letter was sent to households in temporary accommodation telling them their possessions could be destroyed if they did not pay a weekly storage charge.

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Homelessness Reduction Bill passes into law

27/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has now become law, placing a new duty on councils to intervene at an earlier stage to prevent homelessness.

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Parties back Inside Housing campaign to end rough sleeping by 2022

27/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Major political parties have backed Inside Housing’s election campaign call to commit to eradicating rough sleeping by the end of the next parliament.

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Rough sleeping: political parties need to commit

27/04/2017 | By Emma Maier

It is time our political leaders commit to stamping out rough sleeping for good, says Emma Maier


Why the parties should back Cathy at 50

26/04/2017 | By Carl Brown

As politicans hit the campaign trail, we illustrate a number of graphs showing why political parties should support our Cathy at 50 campaign to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.


Kerslake: government should rethink welfare changes

26/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Former civil service chief and crossbench peer Lord Bob Kerslake has called on the government to look again at welfare changes in light of increasing homelessness and the rising cost of support.


Academics to seek homelessness best practice in new study

25/04/2017 | By Pete Apps

A new research project backed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) will assess how councils and housing associations can work together to tackle homelessness.


How well do associations and councils work together on homelessness?


The Chartered Institute of Housing is launching a new research project looking at the relationship between councils and associations. Faye Greaves explains more


Political parties clash over ending rough sleeping

24/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Labour and Conservative ministers clashed over ending rough sleeping in parliament today as the election campaigns swung into action.


Social sector evictions on the increase in Scotland, Shelter reveals

24/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

There has been a 24% increase in evictions from social housing in Scotland over the past two years, a new report by Shelter Scotland has revealed.

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Our new homelessness service explained


Thirteen Group is aiming to help prevent homelessness on behalf of five councils across the North East. The group’s director Chris Smith explains more


Homelessness must be an election issue

19/04/2017 | By Matt Downie

The next government could turn the tide on rising homelessness and end rough sleeping, says Matt Downie

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Young people benefit cut to hit hardest in North

13/04/2017 | By Pete Apps , Sophie Barnes

The cut to housing benefit for young people will have its largest impact in deprived areas of the North of England, Inside Housing research shows.

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Where the axe will fall Video

13/04/2017 | By Pete Apps , Sophie Barnes

Pete Apps and Sophie Barnes assess the potential impact of the forthcoming cut to housing benefit for young people

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Homelessness prevention programme launched in North East

12/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

The North East’s largest housing association has launched a homelessness prevention service for five councils in the Tees Valley, backed by £710,000 of government funding.


We must collaborate more to tackle homelessness

12/04/2017 | By Clark Bailie

In his first IH50 piece, Clark Bailie of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive says it takes more than one organisation to deal with homelessness

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Why I’ve accepted a role as honorary vice-president of Shelter Scotland

12/04/2017 | By Robert Black

Former auditor general Robert Black is the new honorary vice-president of Shelter Scotland following his work on a commission for the charity. He writes about what’s needed to tackle the housing crisis

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Welsh Government considers Housing First scheme to tackle homelessness

10/04/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Government is considering moving towards a Housing First homelessness policy, the minister with responsibility for housing has announced.

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'We need more housing for exploited women' Video

06/04/2017 | By Danielle Aumord

Specialist housing for prostituted women is in high demand, but it is under threat from funding cuts. Danielle Aumord finds out whether these crucial services can be kept afloat

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Up to 11,000 affected by under-21 benefit cap by 2021

04/04/2017 | By Pete Apps

Around 1,000 young people will be affected by the cut to housing benefit for under-21s this year, rising to 11,000 by 2020/21.

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Under-21 benefit cut to come into force tomorrow

31/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Guidance for the under-21 benefit cut has been published, with the policy set to come into effect from tomorrow.

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Councils welcome government's Universal Credit U-turn

28/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Councils have welcomed the government’s move to make households that are made homeless exempt from Universal Credit following reports rent arrears bills have started to rack up.

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Homelessness bill passes final stage as temporary accommodation use soars

23/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed its final stage in the House of Lords as the latest government figures reveal the number of households in temporary accommodation has soared by 10% since last year.

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Housing before treatment

22/03/2017 | By Matt Downie

Housing homeless people before they receive treatment could end rough sleeping, but the policy must not disrupt existing allocations, says Matt Downie


Priced out

21/03/2017 | By David Pipe

Channel 4’s flagship documentary this week showed the real impact on the government’s benefit cap, even if the case studies could have been better, says David Pipe


Relegation zone

20/03/2017 | By Jules Birch , Jules Birch

Britain has fallen further than any other European country in a new league table for homelessness and housing, says Jules Birch

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Javid backs Housing First feasibility study


Sajid Javid has committed to ending rough sleeping and revealed the government is backing a major new feasibility study into using Housing First, in a win for Inside Housing’s Cathy at 50 campaign.


Government shifts funding focus to greatest homelessness demand areas

16/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has announced that £402m of funding over the next two years will be targeted at the councils with the greatest homelessness demand.

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Javid will consider Housing First scheme

13/03/2017 | By Tom Wall

The government will consider a radical scheme to place rough sleepers with mental health and substance abuse problems in permanent housing before they begin receiving treatment.

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LGA: councils spend £2m a day on temporary accommodation

06/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Councils are spending £2m a day on temporary accommodation because of a shortage of housing, analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

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Under-21 housing benefit cut 'could place 9,000 at risk of homelessness'

06/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Removing housing benefit from young people could see 9,000 left unable to access accommodation and placed at risk of homelessness, a charity has estimated.


Vital Regeneration and Thames Reach agree merger

28/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

London homelessness prevention charities Thames Reach and Vital Regeneration have agreed a merger set to take effect on 1 March.


Peers back Homelessness Reduction Bill

27/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Peers have backed the Homelessness Reduction Bill but used the debate last Friday to set out concerns over the effect of wider government policy on housing.

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Oxford City Council plans to guarantee private tenants' rent

27/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Oxford City Council is planning to guarantee the rent of people at risk of becoming homeless, as it prepares for the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

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Homelessness bill is ground-breaking, but risks being undermined by cuts

24/02/2017 | By Lord Best

The Homelessness Reduction Bill comes before the House of Lords today. Lord Richard Best says this presents an opportunity to air some wider concerns.

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Shelter appoints new chief executive

21/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Shelter has appointed Polly Neate, the current chief executive of domestic violence charity Women’s Aid, as its new chief executive.


Homelessness funding vacuum


Despite offering support to the Homelessness Reduction Bill in the Lords, Labour does not share the optimistic view that committed funding will be sufficient, says Andy Slaughter

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Prevention duties defended despite Welsh rough sleeping rise

13/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

New homelessness prevention duties in Wales have been defended amid a sharp rise in rough sleeping, with the sector suggesting the policy has simply resulted in more accurate statistics.


Scottish Government to reduce time children spend in temporary housing

09/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Children and pregnant women will spend no longer than one week in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation, the Scottish Government has pledged.

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Children spending too long in temporary accommodation, says Shelter Scotland

06/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Families with children in Scotland are spending too long in temporary accommodation, risking their health and well-being, a report from Shelter Scotland has concluded.