To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether additional funding is required to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness in the region of London compared with (a) East of England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) Greater Manchester, (d) Kent Surrey and Sussex and (e) the North West as part of the selection of areas for the new pilot of temporary accommodation for prison leavers.
1 March 2021
We recognise the significant problem of homelessness faced by a number of our service users in London and are working to prevent homelessness amongst prison leavers, by continuing the successful probation Homelessness Prevention Team in the region, which has supported many homeless prison leavers during the COVID emergency period, and by working in partnership with other organisations to develop new initiatives.
HMP Wandsworth has been selected as a prison to introduce and test a new accommodation role. The Housing Specialist will work to strengthen links between prisons, through the gate teams and local authorities to improve accommodation outcomes for those at risk of homelessness. The post holder will also work to drive forward our Homelessness Reduction Act and Duty to Refer pilot with several key London local authorities.
London was not chosen as one of the probation regions for the delivery of the Tier 3 – Community Accommodation Service for the next financial year, due to the need to prioritise the work on the transition of probation services in the capital.
It is our intention to roll out the Tier 3 accommodation provision nationally, pending the Spending Review later this year.