Strategy must link to other initiatives

The government’s consultation paper on its new
national homelessness strategy fails to show how it would link to
other initiatives, according to those working in the sector.

A total of 70 organisations have responded to
the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions’
proposals for a national homelessness strategy.

All emphasise the importance of interaction
between the strategy and other government programmes, such as
Supporting People, as well as health and housing benefit

A report of the responses to the consultation
states: “It was stressed that the shortcomings in some services,
notably housing management and social care, can reduce the
effectiveness of homelessness prevention activity.”

Respondents also suggested that links be made
between the NHS national service frameworks and health improvement
plans. Concerns were raised about how homeless people accessed
health care, and the need for primary care trusts to specify how
health services will be delivered to homeless people.

It was also suggested that the national
strategy should have time-bound targets that link to resource
allocation, and the targets should be outcome-based and take into
account local circumstances.

Housing minister Lord Falconer announced last
week that a new homelessness directorate will come into effect
early next year and will be responsible for delivering the strategy
(News, page 13, 6 December).

Consultation on Proposals for a National
Homelessness Strategy: Analysis of Responses

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