English local authorities have been allocated £3.3m by the
government to help them develop strategies to prevent and tackle
all forms of homelessness.
The announcement was made last week as the Homelessness Act 2002
came into effect. Under the act, homeless priority has been
extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds, young care leavers, people
leaving institutions, and people fleeing domestic, racial and other
forms of violence.
The funding will go towards council schemes including mediation
services for families and couples in relationship difficulties,
additional support for women fleeing domestic violence, and rent
deposit guarantee schemes for homes in the private sector.
Shaks Ghosh, head of homelessness charity Crisis, said
“innovative solutions” were needed to reintegrate homeless people
“These solutions can only be developed and delivered if there is
the most exceptional collaboration between health services, social
services, the police, housing authorities and the voluntary
sector,” Ghosh said.