The boss of one of Brighton’s most well-used homeless services says that today’s budget has “failed the homeless” despite a pledge to cut the number of rough sleepers.
George Osborne this afternoon pledged £115million for specialist supported housing to reduce homelessness.
But Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, says that caps put on the amount people living in such specialist housing can claim in housing benefit means that thousands of homes will be lost.
Mr Osborne said: “Because under this government we’re not prepared to let people be left behind, I am also announcing a major new package of support worth over £115 million to support those who are homeless and reduce rough sleeping.”
Mr Winter said: “While I welcome the news that the Chancellor has announced £115 million for specialist accommodation to help people out of rough sleeping and homelessness, other measures previously announced will mean that levels of homelessness and rough sleeping will continue to rise.
“In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced caps that, from April 2018, will limit the amounts someone in specialist supported housing may claim through housing benefit. This will see the loss of thousands of homes and already the plug has been pulled on many new homes that were planned.
“The Chancellor should have ensured that specialist supported housing was put on a proper and sustainable financial footing so that we can see, once and for all, an end to rough sleeping in this country.
“Sadly he has failed this challenge. So on homelessness, I would rate this budget as a failure. He has ignored the warnings from so many of us involved in helping people off the street and those with support needs.
“Homelessness will increase and this £115 million will have little impact in stemming rising levels of rough sleeping.”
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