The Local Government Association (LGA) have published a report which provides information on what Local Authorities are currently doing to meet the challenges posed by rising homelessness, highlighting best practice in case studies from councils and other organisations including the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), London Councils, Greater London Authority (GLA) and others in order to generate 22 key recommendations for Councils and Government.
Key recommendations given in the report include encouraging:
- Councils to learn to work better and smarter with private sector landlords and agents, in order to develop a responsive service offer.
- Councils to make effective use of the Localism Act powers to end a homelessness duty in the private rented sector (PRS).
- The Government to adapt Universal Credit to ensure that housing related benefits are paid promptly for households in temporary accommodation and for households placed in the PRS by local authorities, and to reduce the likelihood of homeless households being placed in overcrowded accommodation.
- The Government to provide financial incentives to private sector landlords willing to let to households nominated by a local authority.
It is hoped that the implementation of these recommendations will allow Local Authorities to effectively tackle homelessness without a massive increase in spending or compromising the Government’s reform agenda.