§ 34. Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made in the consultation on the replacement of resettlement units; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Major
In each of the Department's seven social security regions review teams have been set up to consider future resettlement provision for the single homeless and rootless. The teams, with members from both statutory and voluntary organisations as well as the Department, are looking at the existing network of services and the level of demand and will make recommendations on the type and range of facilities that should replace the 15 resettlement units outside London. Five regions have produced interim reports dealing with the proposals they have received to date: local authority housing departments have been involved in most of the larger urban areas and several have expressed an interest in providing direct access hostels. In general voluntary agencies are concentrating on second stage hostels.
Officials have asked review teams to report substantively by the spring, when it is hoped to mount a national conference at which nominees from the review teams and representatives of local authority associations and national agencies dealing with the single homeless will discuss the reports and the national framework for resettlement which they suggest. Ministers will consider the recommendations arising from the exercise later this year.