Housing Act indicates that one is deemed to be statutory homeless if he or she is currently homeless or is at risk of becoming homeless within 28 days. Other notable reasons for being recognized statutory homeless as argued by Wood (1992) include staying with a family on a temporary basis, living in an overcrowded conditions, living in emergency accommodation for example bed & breakfast, lack of legal right to stay in the current accommodation, if one is forced to live apart from the family and being exposed to risk of violence or abuse in the current accommodation. In its effort to deal with the challenges of homelessness, local authorities and social workers must first identify the main preludes to homelessness in UK.
According to 2007/2008 government report, immediate causes of homelessness were as outlined by the figure below. In 2010, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in UK established various policies aimed at providing assistance to homeless families. According to the Minister for housing, Grant Shapps, the government was willing to do all it can to safeguard homelessness funding despite the tough economic times that was being experienced in the country.
DCLG business plan that was initiated in 2010 key mission was to oversee housing and homelessness policy in UK as a way of meeting the aspirations of ageing and growing population as well as assisting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities (Sennott, 2010). Efforts by Grant to address the problem of homelessness were strengthened by formation of a cross-departmental working group of ministers from various government departments. Rather than tackling statutory homelessness, the early work of the focused group was dealing with rough sleeping.
Addressing complex needs: improving services for vulnerable homeless people, is one of the key publications in 2015 that provides the role of UK government in dealing with homelessness. UK government approach is mainly focused at tackling homelessness by preventing it where possible and ensuring that families experiencing homelessness access the support they need so as to help them get back on their feet (Fitzpatrick, Bramley and Johnsen, 2010). As a way of ensuring that social workers and local authorities are able to support disadvantaged people, the government, through a written report by Kris Hopkins, a former housing minister and the current Vice-Chamberlain of the Household invested more than £ 500 million.
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