I am today updating the House on a commitment I made at Second Reading of the Homelessness Reduction Bill – the Member for Harrow East’s Private Members’ Bill – to fund the costs of the Bill in line with the new burdens doctrine.
I can confirm that the Government will provide £48m to local government to meet the new burdens costs associated with the Bill over the course of the Spending Review. It is estimated that offsetting savings to local authorities will mean there are no costs thereafter. This reflects the cost of the Bill in its current form. I will continue to monitor the Bill as it proceeds through the House and will update the new burdens assessment as appropriate once the Bill is in its final form.
Estimated new burdens costs of the Homelessness Reduction Bill
* Rounding means these are summed to £48m
The Government has been working with local councils and the Local Government Association to test the methodology behind the estimated costs, as well as the core assumptions within it.
We will continue to work with local councils and the Local Government Association to develop the distribution model for the funding. This will reflect differing need in different authorities.
I also intend to consider the case for making available a small amount of further funding for local authorities in high-pressure areas to manage the transition to the new duties in the Bill.
This would be in addition to the level of funding provided to meet our commitment to fund new burdens.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords