A “sea-change” is needed in local authorities to make social
services tackle the problem of homelessness alongside housing
departments, Shelter has warned.
Although 96 per cent of housing departments believe joint working
with social services is necessary to reduce homelessness, only 18
per cent had found current practices to be useful, says a report by
the charity launched last week.
“In almost all of our projects around the UK we come across
vulnerable homeless people who are being failed because there is
inadequate joint working between local authority departments,”
Shelter director Adam Sampson told the charity’s national
conference in London.
A change was needed to tackle the underlying causes of
homelessness, he said. “This requires a concerted effort to tackle
the misconception that homelessness is simply a housing
The Homelessness Act 2002 requires local authorities to come up
with preventive strategies to tackle homelessness, and social
services have to give such assistance as the housing department
“may reasonably require”.
The report looked at the homelessness strategies in 15
– The Act in Action – An Assessment of Homelessness Reviews and
Strategies from 020 7505 2043.