31st December 2018
Thousands of extra homes will be made available for vulnerable Londoners at risk of becoming homeless, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has announced today (31 December 2018).
Through an innovative new scheme – the first of its kind – London boroughs join forces to provide safe accommodation for families on the edge of homelessness, backed by almost £38 million of funding from the government’s £1.2 billion overall investment in tackling homelessness.
The additional homes will help provide a long-term, stable solution for vulnerable families struggling to find secure accommodation, providing a safety net for those who may otherwise feel they have nowhere else to go.
Currently, all London boroughs are responsible for providing accommodation for those at risk of homelessness both inside and outside their area. However, this can often lead to areas competing for the best accommodation – driving up prices and slowing down the provision of quality housing for the most vulnerable.
The new scheme will stop this from happening by encouraging London boroughs to work together in boosting accommodation to tackle homelessness across the capital.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
“Everyone deserves a safe and secure home. I’ve seen for myself how hard each of the London boroughs works to provide those that are homeless with the support they need and a roof over their heads.
“This radical new way of working and unprecedented collaboration between the boroughs and government will make a real difference – providing more accommodation for the vulnerable and helping them to get back on their feet and away from homelessness for good.”
Councillor Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning, said:
“With so many homeless households and so little accommodation available, London faces the country’s most serious homelessness challenge.
“Capital Letters is a crucial opportunity to do things differently – and we are extremely pleased to have the government’s support for this innovative work.
“Through collaboration, boroughs will collectively strengthen our market position and secure much better housing options for homeless Londoners.”
To date, 11 London boroughs have signed up to the scheme, with more expected to come on board in the future. Over the next three years, the scheme is expected to help over 35,000 households within Greater London out of homelessness.
London Councils are now working to establish the not-for-profit company who will deliver the Capital Letters programme. They will be tasked with providing this vital service on behalf of the boroughs and will undertake the management of the homes which are provided.
The joined-up approach will also give those at risk of homelessness the chance to stay closer to where they currently live, meaning that disruption to their employment or education can be reduced during what is already a difficult time.
Capital Letters is being supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as part of the government’s commitment to addressing homelessness and encouraging collaborative solutions to tackle the issue.
Government funding of £37.8 million has been allocated over the next 3 years to 2022 to support this programme.
A group of 11 boroughs will join Capital Letters initially, with others expected to become members at a later stage.
These boroughs are:
- Tower Hamlets
- Waltham Forest
- Barking and Dagenham
Capital Letters has a social mission. All members of the Capital Letters team are part of an efficient, effective, and dynamic service helping homeless Londoners. Through working in partnership, Capital Letters is at the forefront of tackling London’s homelessness crisis.
London Councils represents London’s 32 boroughs 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. Read more about London Councils