The Homelessness Prevention Grant is provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to all local housing authorities in England. The funding ensures local authorities are able to meet their duties under the Homelessness Prevention Act, including preventing homelessness and accommodating homeless applicants. For 2022/23, £315.8 million in funding was provided to local authorities through the grant.
The government has consulted on changes to the way the Homelessness Prevention Grant is calculated for 2023/24 onwards. The NHF responded to the consultation which is now closed.
Aims of the consultation
- To make sure funding is distributed fairly to local authorities and is driven by a current picture of need.
- To make sure any changes to funding allocations can be incorporated into service delivery, continuing to enable local authorities to meet their statutory homelessness duties.
- To improve government understanding of how the grant is spent and to help government understand what drives good performance, which should support the longer-term aim to focus the grant more on prevention activity.
- To enhance shared learning across authorities in terms of maximising prevention activity, enabling local authorities to achieve better outcomes.
- To improve government understanding of the impact of the funding, particularly in relation to temporary accommodation outcomes, by incentivising more consistent data reporting by local authorities.
The consultation sought input on five proposals:
- Updating the funding formula so that it reflects current temporary accommodation pressures.
- Introducing transitional arrangements for changes to funding allocations.
- Determining the timing of the announcements of 2023/24 and 2024/25 allocations, including a possible two-year funding allocation.
- Adding a grant condition to require local authorities to submit additional spend declaration information.
- Introducing tranche payments and requiring accurate statistics to be submitted to receive the second tranche of funding.
Our comments included:
- How the grant should be calculated in a way that best captures need, e.g. not relying solely on UC claimant figures, including family homelessness, benefit capped household and affordability of more than just two-bedroom properties.
- How to calculate need for temporary accommodation in a way that is not just using relative population figures, e.g. looking at local housing costs, average local incomes, available family housing at Local Housing Association rate, availability of funded supported housing to meet local need.
- How to calculate homelessness pressures beyond the number of people offered a private rented tenancy, as people may need social rented or supported housing but will still be homeless.
- Welcoming proposals for longer-term grant certainty.
If you have any questions about the consultation, or the NHF’s response then please get in touch with our team.