Conservatives embrace Homelessness Reduction Act as Council looks to reduce homelessness
Conservative-controlled Kingston is stepping up its preparations for the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) before its implementation in April 2018, with the announcement of several key partnerships aimed at reducing homelessness in Kingston.
Originally introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 was introduced to reduce homelessness, including rough sleeping, by increasing the statutory responsibilities local authorities have towards people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The HRA received substantial cross party support during its time in Parliament and following its successful passage as an Act, will now be implemented by local authorities across the country.
Kingston Conservatives have fully embraced the HRA with two bids having successfully being made to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for the Government’s £50million Homelessness Prevention package. This funding will help those most at risk of losing their home quicker than they would have done under the provisions of the previous Housing Act 1996, and ensure that they receive the support needed to help them out of homelessness.
Kingston is also the lead borough for the successful Trailblazer Bid, a programme that is exploring how to prevent homelessness. Conservative-controlled Kingston will partner with both Sutton and Merton Councils, and SPEAR a local homeless charity that has been working in south west London to help homeless people since 1987. The total funding awarded under this bid was just over £1million and the programme will explore, trial and develop an earlier intervention approach, identify homelessness triggers and develop collaborative new ways of working to maximise opportunities for upstream intervention’ to prevent homelessness.
Councillor Cathy Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Adults Social Care & Health said:
The HRA is a fantastic piece of legislation that will really make a difference to people’s lives. In Kingston we’ve been committed to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping on our streets and have already pursued a variety of programmes. The Act will give us more funding and the resources to tackle homelessness and the Council is already pursuing a number of programmes that will help us achieve this.