In this Issue

Girls in Gangs
Comic Relief are making several grants available in the UK for multi-partner projects which can help intervene between young women and gangs, such as providing family-focused interventions and providing support in schools......

Consultation - Business rates: delivering more frequent revaluations
The government is seeking views from of stakeholders as it begins to consider how more frequent revaluations could be delivered and as it develops options for change....

Mid Devon’s Land Charges service wins national award
Mid Devon District Council Customer satisfaction award for local authority searches...

Councillors Guide 2016
LGA publishes the Councillor Guide 2016 .....

Funding boost for schools helping pupils develop character
£6 million funds available for character grants to schools and local authorities promoting traits such as resilience and respect in children through activities...

Consultation Launched into Distribution of National Lottery Money
Views sought on proposed new policy directions for the allocation of Big Lottery Funds ......


Benefit cuts ‘fuelling’ rising homelessness, charity warns

Release Date: Mar 29, 2017

 A housing shortfall and Government benefit cuts are ‘fuelling’ rising homelessness as councils warn they are struggling to find social tenancies for homeless people.

A state-of-the-nation report from homelessness charity Crisis found almost two thirds (64%) of councils in England are struggling to find social tenancies for homeless people, while half find it ‘very difficult’ to assist applicants into privately rented accommodation.

Nearly 58,000 people were accepted as homeless by their council in 2015/16 – 18,000 higher than 2009/10. Meanwhile, placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, with the national total up by 9% in the year to 30 June 2016, a rise of 52% compared to 2009/10.
Drawing on evidence from 162 of England’s 326 local authorities, the report – also written with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) - revealed 85% of responding councils had difficulties assisting single people aged 25-34 into accommodation and 88% found it difficult housing large families.
Around 94% of councils stated they anticipate greater difficulties in finding accommodation for homeless 25-34 year olds in the next 2-3 years due to rising unemployment, spiralling rents and, declining benefit protection.
The majority of responding councils (89%) expressed concerns that the roll out of Universal Credit will further exacerbate homelessness because of the potential impact on landlords’ willingness to let to homeless people.
Local authorities who provided evidence for the report also cited welfare cuts and Local Housing Allowance (LHA) falling well short of rents in many locations as ‘major barriers’ to councils’ attempts to house homeless applicants.