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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Leicester City Council to cut homeless beds

Written by BBC

Accommodation for homeless families in Leicester will be cut under plans announced by the city council.

The authority said it is reducing the figure from 129 units to 70, but said it would focus more on preventing homelessness.

It said the current strategy was based around crisis and in many instances the council only dealt with people after they became homeless.

The move follows a public consultation on the city's homeless policy.

Assistant city mayor for housing, Councillor Mohammed Dawood, said: "We have looked at the homeless service in great detail, and have listened carefully to the views of those who help to provide it, as well as those who use it.

'Longer-term solutions'

"We believe these new proposals better suit the demand for the service."

He added: "We are determined that the service should move away from the crisis culture we currently have in place to a more preventative service - reducing the need for hostel beds and finding longer-term solutions for people.

"Reducing support for hostel beds is not an easy decision, but we've looked carefully at what we already provide and what is actually needed.

"We believe the support we are proposing for hostel beds will meet demand."

The proposal will now go to the adult social care and housing scrutiny commission before a final decision is made.

Other planned changes to provision for homeless people will be introduced in phases.

The current annual budget for homeless services in the city is £6.6m.