To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she had made of the effect of the roll out of universal credit on levels of homelessness in the London borough of Croydon .
10 April 2019
We do not track homelessness at Jobcentre level so the assessment asked for is not available, but statutory homelessness and rough sleeping figures for Croydon are available within Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s homelessness statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness.
The causes of homelessness are numerous, varied and complex.. A joint study between the Department and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has shown that there is not a direct causal link between welfare and homelessness. This report was published on 25 March 2019 and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/causes-of-homelessness-and-rough-sleeping-feasibility-study. Attributing homelessness to a single Governmental policy would simplify the issue, and this approach would wrongly deny it the multi-faceted approach which we’re committed to delivering.
It is our priority to ensure that those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, get the appropriate support to stabilise their lives and move into work. We have provided around £1 billion in Discretionary Housing Payment funding since 2011 to protect the most vulnerable claimants.
There is a range of support available for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, such as access to Alternative Payment Arrangements, easements to work-search requirements and partnerships between Jobcentres and homeless charities and housing services. By law, work coaches in England must offer a voluntary referral to claimants they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a Local Housing Authority.
Data on homelessness by local authority level, provided by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics.