HC Deb 13 July 1971 vol 821 c204
26. Mr. O'Halloran

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to announce a decision on the working party dealing with single homeless persons ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dean

I am not yet able to forecast a date.

Mr. O'Halloran

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the great work which is being done by the Simon and St. Mungo Communities and, perhaps, give them some financial assistance?

Mr. Dean

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for mentioning those two voluntary organisations ; there are others working in this field which do excellent work. We are anxious to help them in every way we can with financial and other assistance, and that is one of the ways in which we are tackling this serious problem.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Can the hon. Gentleman say how the total number of hostel places compares with the total number of single homeless people today?

Mr. Dean

The number of lodging houses is tending to decline owing to redevelopment schemes, and one of the projects which the Government have in hand now, in co-operation with voluntary bodies, is a survey of these places to see how many there are and how many more are needed.