§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he is satisfied with the response to date of local authorities to circular 18/74, dealing with homelessness; what further legislation will be necessary if the objective outlined in this circular are to be achieved; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he is satisfied with the response to date of local authorities to circular No. 34/74 dealing with homelessness; what further legislation will be necessary if the objectives outlined in his circular are to be achieved; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Shore
I reply also on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.
As previously announced, it has been decided to place the statutory responsibility for accommodation for the homeless on housing authorities and to clarify related responsibilities of social services authorities. This decision was taken following 41W a survey carried out by my Department of the extent to which local authorities have implemented the main recommendations of the joint circular on homelessness and on consideration of the views expressed in response to a consultation paper on the subject. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Construction intends to make a further statement in the near future.
My right hon. Friend announced in his reply of 29th July 1976 to my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mr. Douglas-Mann)—(Vol. 916, c. 362–3]—the extent to which local authorities assisted homeless people in securing accommodation in the first half of 1975. These figures demonstrated very considerable assistance by local authorities. We hope to announce soon corresponding figures for the second half of 1975.