HL Deb 27 February 1995 vol 561 cc87-8WA
Lord Trefgarne

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans the Department of the Environment has regarding grants to homeless voluntary organisations under Section 73 of the Housing Act 1985.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater)

The Department of the Environment has completed its review of the Section 73 grant programme. This incorporated the findings of research by York University which was commissioned to assess the programme's effectiveness and consider its possible future direction. York found that the programme has been successful in providing assistance to a large number of single people. This confirms the department's own conclusions that the programme represents good value for money. The department is pleased to announce that it has decided that the grant programme should continue.

The Government are to make £6.9 million available in 1995–96. In addition to the applications for funding we have received from existing projects, we anticipate bids to start new schemes in 1995–96. These grants will assist voluntary organisations around the country to meet the running costs of schemes which provide practical help for single people in need of accommodation. They will also enable Shelter, SHAC—the London housing aid centre—and the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux to maintain and develop the national homelessness advice service.