Asked on: 07 September 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the concluding observations of the recent UN Committee on the Rights of the Child fifth Period Report, what steps he plans to take to address the recommendation that the Government should strictly implement the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003 prohibiting the placement of homeless families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks.
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 15 September 2016
I welcome the observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child fifth Period Report. The law is clear that bed and breakfast accommodation should be used to house homeless families only in an emergency, and then for no longer than six weeks.
The Government has been clear that the long term use of bed and breakfast accommodation for families with children is both unacceptable and unlawful and we are determined to stop this damaging practice. We have also changed the law so that councils can place families in decent and affordable private rented homes. This now means homeless households do not have to wait as long for settled accommodation, spending less time in temporary accommodation.
We have taken further action to tackle temporary accommodation. In December 2015, we launched a new £5 million fund to help the 25 councils facing the most significant homelessness pressures, to ensure people are moved from temporary accommodation and into suitable homes as soon as possible.
We are also devolving the Temporary Accommodation Management Fee, with more than equivalent funding, to local authorities from April 2017. This will provide more freedom and flexibility to help authorities tackle homelessness more effectively, and improve outcomes for homeless families.