Thursday, 19 January 2017

Osborne expected to announce homelessness measures

George Osborne is expected to announce new measures to help prevent people becoming homeless, when he unveils his Budget later today.

Ministers are increasingly under pressure to control the spiralling levels of homelessness in England, caused by a lack of affordable housing and increasing reliance on the private rented sector.

Inside Housing revealed in January that the government was considering introducing new duties on councils to prevent people becoming homeless. The new rules, adapted from Welsh legislation, would mean that local authorities have to give meaningful housing assistance to every person at risk of homelessness – regardless of their priority need. This could mean mediating with landlords or helping prospective tenants pay a deposit.

It has also been reported that the government will announce £110m in the Budget to tackle rough sleeping, including funding for accommodation and expanding a rough sleeping social impact bond.

The chancellor also revealed earlier this week that he needs to find further cuts of £4bn to achieve his spending targets.

On The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the chancellor said the spending reductions amounted to “£1 in every £100 that the government spends”, but claimed this was “not a huge amount in the scheme of things”.

The chancellor is also expected to announce new measures for ‘garden suburbs’, with councils expected to build small settlements outside their areas.

He will announce billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure, including housing, however it is unclear how much of this cash will be new money.

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