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

homelessness prevention

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.

homelessness prevention

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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young homeless homelessness youth

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.

Child poverty

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.

homelessness prevention

Homelessness bill to receive Lords backing despite cost concerns

01/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Labour peers will back the Homelessness Reduction Bill when it reaches the House of Lords, but will call for additional funding for councils.

For single use only on 3 February 2017

Homeless for 13 years: Grant's story Video

01/02/2017 | By Danielle Aumord

The homelessness debate can often be caught up in facts and figures. As the Homelessness Reduction Bill makes its way through parliament, Danielle Aumord talks to one man about life in the system


Government announces increase in homelessness bill funding

30/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has announced it will increase funding for the Homelessness Reduction Bill by £13m.

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Celebration and realism as homelessness bill nears final stages

30/01/2017 | By Jules Birch , Jules Birch

Jules Birch blogs on the prospects for the Homelessness Reduction Bill as MPs give it a third reading

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Homelessness placement

Homelessness Reduction Bill passes final stage in the Commons

27/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed its final stage in the Commons and will now head to the House of Lords.

Michael Chandler

Filming homelessness

25/01/2017 | By Michael Chandler

Thinking of entering our Reel Homes competition? Film director Michael Chandler provides tips on how to capture experience of homelessness on screen

Rough sleeping

Rough sleeping soars by 16% in a year

25/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The number of people sleeping rough on the streets has soared by 16% over the past year, the latest government figures reveal.

homelessness prevention

Councils could provide homelessness prevention support beyond 56 days

20/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Councils could be required to work with households to prevent them becoming homeless beyond the 56-day time period set out in the Homelessness Reduction Bill, under an amendment planned by the government.

Homeless person begging on snowy street

Government expects 30% fall in homelessness acceptances

18/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The government expects the new duties in the Homelessness Reduction Bill to lead to a 30% decrease in homelessness acceptances by its third year, a document seen by Inside Housing has revealed.

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Tributes following death of homelessness activist

18/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Jimmy Carlson, an activist who was awarded an OBE for his services to combatting homelessness, has died aged 69.

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Live streaming of Cathy play tonight

18/01/2017 | By Carl Brown

An interactive live performance of a play inspired by Cathy Come Home will be streamed live tonight, with readers able to change the plot acted out on stage.

Homelessness placement

Cautious welcome for £48m homelessness funding

17/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has announced £48m will be given to councils for the extra duties they will face from the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

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Rise in children in temporary accommodation in Scotland

17/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The number of children in temporary accommodation in Scotland has soared by 17% in a year, the latest government statistics reveal.

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Wheatley to help veterans with bankers' fines

16/01/2017 | By Pete Apps

The largest housing association in Scotland has received almost half a million pounds raised in fines from bankers to help house homeless veterans.

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Wales gets £7.8m to prevent homelessness

11/01/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The Welsh Government has announced £7.8m for its Homelessness Prevention Programme for 2017/18.


Scottish Government announces £1.65m funding for housing support

09/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Government has announced the recipients of £1.65m of funding for homeless services and housing providers working with vulnerable people.


My first year with Crisis at Christmas

05/01/2017 | By Lucy Brown

Inside Housing sub-editor Lucy Brown shares her thoughts on her first year as a volunteer with Crisis at Christmas

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The mystery of the missing data Video

04/01/2017 | By Patricia Arthurs

There are puzzling inconsistencies in the way English councils record cases of homelessness prevention and homelessness relief. Patricia Arthurs investigates

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Homelessness on film Video

03/01/2017 | By Kate Youde

From I, Daniel Blake to A Street Cat Named Bob, films about housing and homelessness are entering the mainstream. But have they made a difference to people working on the frontline? Kate Youde finds out


Counting the cost

22/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Homelessness prevention duties are closer than ever to making it onto the statute books. Sophie Barnes asks what this might mean for English councils

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Government announces £50m homelessness fund recipients

21/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has revealed which councils will receive part of its £50m fund to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.


New homelessness duties could cost London councils millions

21/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

New duties introduced through proposed homelessness laws will cost town halls millions, councils in London have calculated.