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Council leader writes to minister to call for change to funds decision
The leader of Bradford Council has written to the Housing Minister calling for the reversal of a cut of almost 40 per cent in funding, which helps prevent people in the district from becoming homeless.
Councillor David Green has contacted Mark Prisk over the issue after it emerged that the authority would see a £75,000 cut in its Preventing Homelessness Grant in each of the next two years – which amounts to a 38 per cent drop overall.
It was announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government in September that Bradford would see its grant slashed, but the Council was told it would receive funding through other channels and the overall amount for preventing homelessness would remain the same.
Despite these earlier assurances, the Council has now been advised that no additional funding will be forthcoming.
Coun Green said: “This is completely the wrong time to be cutting this funding. More and more people are at risk of homelessness and this is not likely to get better any time soon given the economic climate and the Government’s bedroom tax.
“We are going to see people forced out of their homes for having a spare room but left with nowhere to go because there are insufficient numbers of smaller properties to meet the increase in demand.”
The Council’s executive member for housing, Councillor Val Slater, added: “This is a perverse decision that fails to recognise the reality on the ground.”
Bradford City Centre Project is one such scheme which is already being hit by cuts to its funding. It provides accommodation and advice for young people aged 16 to 25 and has occupancy rates of 99 per cent.
Director Jed Din said: “I can only predict an increase in youth homelessness. It’s going to be difficult.”
However a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “These claims are untrue. Bradford’s core homelessness grant has not been significantly reduced.
“Bradford’s allocations were made on the same basis as the rest of England."