Labour to invest in schemes to cut homelessness

The government is to invest over 32m in developing ways to tackle homelessness.

The Homelessness Innovation Fund is part of the government’s strategy to cut the number of households in temporary accommodation by 50% by 2010.

Funded schemes across England are expected to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation by 4,000 and prevent 2,400 new cases of homelessness.

The successful bidders were named last week. One is the Cross Authority Lettings Agency project in Gloucestershire and Somerset, which received 160,000 toward its work to set up a ‘virtual property shop’, aimed at preventing homelessness before a homelessness application has to be made. The project will include access to private sector accommodation, a rent in advance system and a deposit/bond scheme.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper says: “We have seen homelessness fall significantly over the past year. Local strategies and investment are making a difference but we must keep up the progress.”