08 October 2020
The government has published its response to submissions to its call for evidence on the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (the Act), alongside an independent evaluation of the implementation of the Act. The evidence was gathered before the coronavirus period.
The government will consider separately the points raised around affordable housing supply, welfare reform, access to the private rented sector and access to healthcare services, which it says is beyond the remit of the review.
The NHF responded to the call for evidence in 2019. Housing associations do not have statutory duties under the Act, but homelessness prevention is a very relevant subject for housing associations, many of whom have signed up to the voluntary Commitment to Refer and are working hard to prevent evictions through tenancy sustainment support.
Social housing is the most common exit route out of homelessness. Since 2007, housing associations have housed more than 390,000 statutorily homeless households. They have also housed nearly 268,000 ‘other’ homeless households in the same period, mostly in supported housing (CORE data, MHCLG, 2007/08-2017/18). Housing associations provide 76% of all supported accommodation for single homeless people, 75% of accommodation for people with drug and alcohol needs, 73% for those at risk of domestic abuse, and 66% for homeless families (DWP and DLCG (2016) Supported Accommodation Review).
NHF members therefore had relevant experience to feed into the call for evidence.
We are pleased to see that some of our original recommendations are reflected in the government review. Our analysis of the government’s review and the evidence in the independent evaluation in the light of the above recommendations shows that although some progress has been made on homelessness prevention, the issues brought up by the review largely align with our original recommendations.
You can read more about our calls for investment in welfare, supply and support in our Spending Review submission.