Leicester

Leicester City Council plans to cut homeless places

Accommodation for homeless families and individuals could be cut under Leicester City Council plans.

The authority needs to reduce its £6.6m homelessness services budget by £2.2m, in 2015.

A consultation has begun that includes plans to cut family units from 129 to 60 and accommodation places for single people from 129 to 45 places.

The city council said it wanted to focus more on preventing homelessness in the first place.

Assistant city mayor for housing, Councillor Mohammed Dawood, said: "For some single people, there is currently a culture of crisis and rescue - but we need to move away from this towards a culture of helping people to avoid or move out of homelessness as quickly as possible.

'Sensible solution'

"We have also found that a hostel environment is not always conducive to achieving positive changes for people."

Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Action Homeless Leicester, said it was "early days" in the consultation process, and that everyone who worked for the homeless in Leicester were just starting to get their heads around it.

"We recognise the council has a difficult job on its hands to make savings over the next three years", he said.

"We have to work together to make sure that those people who are affected get the opportunity to contribute to any plans as the process goes on... to come up with a sensible solution."

In its draft proposals document, the council said: "The proposals aim to support people into independent living.

"We want to focus resources away from addressing homelessness after it happens, to prevent it from happening at all."

The consultation will run until 16 February 2013 and people are asked to submit their comments online or in the post.

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