§ Sir G. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authorities in the East Midlands have responsibility for homelessness.
§ Mr. Armstrong
All social services authorities have a duty under Section 21(1) (b) of the National Assistance Act 1948 to provide temporary accommodation in certain circumstances for persons in urgent need. The joint circular on Homelessness—DOE 18/74—recommended that housing authorities should increasingly accept prime responsibility for the homeless. The information I have is that in the East Midlands all but three housing authorities have accepted some measure of responsibility.