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£7.8M AID FOR HOMELESSNESS VOLUNTARY GROUPS

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Voluntary groups helping single homeless people are to receive£7.8 million under the Section 73 grant programme in...
Voluntary groups helping single homeless people are to receive £7.8 million under the Section 73 grant programme in 1996/97, environment minister James Clappison announced today.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question from David Congdon MP (Croydon North East), Mr Clappison said:

'The Section 73 grant programme continues to represent good value for money. Since 1990/91, it has been particularly successful in assisting a large number of single people to find and keep accommodation. Programme expenditure has grown from £2m to £6.9m in 1995/96 and the number of schemes funded has increased from 30 to 160.

'For 1996/97, the Government has increased to £7.8m the sum to be made available to voluntary organisations to help them to meet the running costs of practical schemes which assist single people in housing need. This means that in addition to continuing to fund all eligible existing projects, we shall be inviting bids to start new schemes in 1996/97.'

Section 73 of the Housing Act 1985 provides for the secretary of state for the environment to make grants available to voluntary organisations concerned with homelessness.

Funding concentrates on projects which assist single people in housing need to find accommodation. In 1995/96, £2m is also being provided for a national Homelessness Advice Service based on Citizens Advice Bureaux with specialist help from Shelter and, in London, £0.33m for Shelter's Nightline emergency housing advice service and Shelter's Hostel Vacancy Project.

Voluntary organisations wishing to apply for grant aid for 1996/97 should obtain an application form from Gwen Roberts, Homelessness and Housing Management Policy Division, Room N13/13, Department of the Environment, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB.

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