The 10th October 2018 was the 8th anniversary of World Homeless Day. Typically, when we think of someone who is homeless we imagine the obvious, someone who is sleeping on the streets, a shop doorway, a park bench and so on, probably because of substance misuse or poor mental health.
On the other had hidden homelessness goes unnoticed and unreported. Maybe these people don’t even recognise themselves as “homeless” moving from a friend’s sofa, to a family’s spare room, maybe a B and B for a night or two……. This type of homeless can often be as a direct result of the lack of affordable housing in the UK.
As the hidden homeless often don’t show up statistically, they are not accounted for in rough sleeping head counts, so there are no accurate national homelessness figures. Government rough sleeping statistics do show an increased number of people are sleeping rough year on year (2010 to 2017).
Wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent homelessness before it happened, rather than dealing with the consequences which not only have a poor effect on individuals mental health, but are usually very costly too?
On World Homelessness Day the government launched a new £20m fund available to council to help them reduce homelessness. Councils can bid to receive a portion of the Private Rented Sector Access Fund to set up new schemes, or support those already in use.
Local Councils, Housing Associations and Social Lettings agencies across the UK can make use of tailor-made versions of Localpad, and its sister brand Lettingspad to help reduce homelessness without having to resort to costly B and B or hotel style accommodation. In short if someone loses their home they can access a new one quickly, and easily without having to use temporary accommodation, or even worse rough sleep.
The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in April this year, it’s the biggest change in Homeless legislation for 40 years, local authorities have a duty to prevent and relive homelessness in both priority and non-priority need clients. With the government proposing to end rough sleeping by 2027 and funding prevention schemes,it is now down to Local Government, Housing Associations, and Social lettings agencies to put their plans into action to achieve this target.