Stark warning about the removal of funding for Local Welfare Assistance

Thursday, 29 January 2015 - 2:33pm

The Local Government Association (LGA) has today issued a stark warning that removing government funding for Local Welfare Assistance schemes in April could put thousands at greater risk of losing their homes and cost the public purse hundreds of millions of pounds.  

Commenting, Jacqui McCluskey, Director of Policy and Communications for Homeless Link, said:

“When vulnerable people find themselves in a time of crisis, local welfare assistance can provide the emergency support they need to prevent them from losing their homes and falling into destitution. If the government goes through with its plans to withdraw funding for these schemes, this vital safety net could be removed from thousands of the people in greatest need. The LGA’s latest analysis estimates up to 50,000 people could be put at risk of homelessness if this critical support is lost.

“Local Welfare Assistance not only helps people in time of crisis, but also supports sustainable resettlement, reducing the risks and costs of repeat homelessness. We support the LGA’s position that removing this funding would be an expensive mistake, and strongly urge the Government to review this decision and consider its long-term implications.

“Over the last few months Homeless Link has tried to represent the voice of its members in engaging with the Government as to why we felt this would be a terrible decision. In a number of submissions we have pointed out that Local Welfare Assistance and its predecessor Social Fund have a unique role in the benefits system. Our members have used these resources to help many thousands of people to escape or avoid homelessness. The abolition of LWA means they will no longer be able to do so. “

In Let's make the difference - our manifesto to end homelessness - we are calling on the next government to ensure there is an effective welfare safety net for people in times of need. This system needs to:

  • Prevent homelessness
  • Help individuals get back on their feet
  • Avoid disadvantaging vulnerable people
  • Work with homelessness charities to provide the best support

Read our manifesto in full below.

Download Let's make the difference: a manifesto to end homelessness

This manifesto, based on the views of people who have experienced homelessness in England and those who support them, sets out priority actions the new government can take to make the greatest difference to homelessness.


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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.