COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Shelter tells review to pay rent directly to housing bodies

Local authorities should be given the power to pay the rent for homeless households directly to housing associations and claim it back from central government. This is one of homelessness charity Shelter's demands in its submission to the Treasury Spending Review, out this summer.

"The scale of the bed-and-breakfast crisis and the priority the Government has given to reducing it means that radical thinking is required,

said the charity in its report, No Room to Play.

The submission heavily emphasises the effect of homelessness on children to tie in with the Government's commitment to end child poverty.

The report quotes an instance where a two-year-old child had failed to learn to crawl because there was no room to do so in the B%26B his family lived in.

Shelter is calling for disincentives to be put in place to stop the haemorrhaging of affordable homes through right-to-buy schemes. It also would like 15 per cent of new builds in the South to be devoted to affordable housing.

"We're optimistic that we'll get something in the review; housing is increasingly a priority for the Government,"said Shelter's public affairs officer Sarah Jones.

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