London Councils and London Housing Directors’ Group joint research on the cost and provision of homelessness services in London LONDON COUNCILS LIMITED Tender Closes 21st November

*The value of the contract has been registered as a minimum of £25K – this is not deemed to be the maximum contract value*
London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross party organisation that works on behalf of all of its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. London Councils makes the case to government, the Mayor and others to get the best deal for Londoners and to ensure that our member authorities have the resources, freedoms and powers to do the best possible job for their residents and local businesses.

Homelessness in London has increased significantly over recent years, with 15,440 homelessness acceptances in 2017/18 compared to 10,180 in 2010/11. At the same time, London’s TA population has increased to more than 54,000 households, including more than 87,000 children. The type of TA used by the London boroughs has also changed, with an increasing proportion of placements being made into nightly paid accommodation, which is more expensive to procure and less secure for residents.

While boroughs face increasing pressures in responding to homelessness, the past two years have seen the introduction of significant legislative changes, as well as changes to how homelessness funding is provided with the introduction of Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (FHSG) in April 2017.

With the government Spending Review approaching, there is now uncertainty around the future of funding for homelessness services. FHSG is currently allocated only to March 2019, while new burdens funding for Homelessness Reduction Act duties is scheduled to be withdrawn from March 2020. With the government Spending Review approaching, it is essential that London local government has the strongest possible evidence base available to make the case for an appropriate funding settlement that ensures the sustainability of homelessness services into the future.

Given this funding uncertainty and the new legislative responsibilities held by councils, this project seeks to take a holistic view of homelessness provision in London. It seeks to assess:

-how borough homelessness services have changed in the light of the legislative and funding changes introduced since April 2017, noted above;
-the appropriate level of funding needed to sustain borough homelessness services into the next Spending Review period;
-the extent to which successful homelessness avoidance strategies pay for themselves given upfront funding; and
-the positive impacts that could be generated by investing government funding better (such as by raising Local Housing Allowance, LHA, rates or investing more in affordable housing) to reduce homelessness approaches or make it easier for councils to source housing for homeless residents.

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