Public Accounts Committee

Homeless households inquiry

Inquiry status: open

The Public Accounts Committee will examine Homeless households on Monday 27 November 2017.

Scope of the inquiry

In March 2017 there were 77,240 households in temporary accommodation, according to a report from the National Audit Office. These households included 120,540 children. In total, homelessness costs taxpayers for than £1 billion per year – of which £845 million was spent on temporary accommodation.

Across England, the end of private sector tenancies accounts for 74% of the growth in homeless households since 2010.  According to the NAO, the capping of Local Housing Allowance benefits could also have contributed to the rise in homeless households.

Tackling homelessness is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). DCLG has said it will improve data around homelessness but does not yet have a cross-government strategy to prevent and tackle the problem. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 gave more responsibility for homelessness to local authorities and required them to have a strategy, but DCLG does not monitor these strategies.

The Public Accounts Committee will take evidence from local councils and the local government ombudsman about authorities’ progress with combatting homelessness. The Committee will then hear from DCLG about their work in reducing the number homeless households, as well as asking the Department for Work and Pensions about whether benefit reform is contributing to the problem.

Latest evidence

  • 27 Nov 2017 - Homeless households - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF417 KB) HC 462 | Published 08 Dec 2017

    Evidence given by Sir Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and PensionsPhilip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, Michael King, Local Government Ombudsman, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis, Gillian Douglas, Head of Housing Options, Bristol City CouncilPeter Schofield, Director General Finance, Sir Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Sally Randall, Director of Housing Standards and Support, Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government

    Watch this evidence session

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