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New £20m fund to help councils secure tenancies for potentially homeless

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The government has announced a new £20m fund to help people facing homelessness secure a private rented home.

The private rented sector access fund, led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, is open to bids from all local authorities and can be used to help provide financial support to help people maintain their tenancies.

The scheme is based on a similar programme that was run by the homelessness charity Crisis between 2010 and 2014, backed by a government grant of £11m.

Crisis concluded after the programme ended that it helped “stabilise the lower end of the private rented sector”, making it “work more effectively for single homeless households”.

“This investment has… created circumstances in which landlords are more likely to settle for longer term tenancies with rents at local housing allowance rates,” Crisis said in its report.

Housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire said the new fund was just one part of the government’s “wide-ranging work” to help tackle homelessness.

“This £20m fund will allow councils to put in place vital new schemes so that those at risk will have the support to secure their own tenancy,” he said.

The government last month announced details of grants worth £34m to help combat rough sleeping as part of its rough sleeping strategy.

According to MHCLG’s rough sleeping statistics for autumn 2017 there was a national 15% increase in homelessness compared to 2016.

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