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House of Lords
Written Questions

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Housing, Mark Prisk, on 18 January 2013 (Official Report, Commons, col. 957W), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the note from their recent roundtable discussion with representatives of London boroughs with high homelessness numbers.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): A copy of the note of the Homelessness Roundtable held on 4 December 2012 has been placed in the House Library.

Allowing homeless households to languish for long periods in expensive temporary accommodation is unfair to the taxpayer and unfair for the households themselves. This is why we have introduced a new power that will allow local housing authorities to end the main homelessness duty with offers of accommodation in the private rented sector without requiring the applicant's agreement.

This gives authorities the freedom to make better use of good-quality private sector accommodation, which will mean less time spent in temporary accommodation-thereby allowing homeless households to move to settled accommodation more quickly. In addition, there will be more social lettings available to households on the waiting list who are in greatest need.

But we are not complacent about this important issue. We continue to work with the Mayor's Office and London Councils to help to address this and we are looking at how we can increase the transparency and accountability around how authorities house vulnerable homeless families.