Cuts to housing support budget “too great to contemplate” and would increase homelessness

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Plans to slash more than half of the funding for housing support are expected to be rejected by Broadland District Council who say the impact on vulnerable people would be 'too great to contemplate'.

Norfolk County Council are proposing to reduce funding of £10m to the district to £4.5m by the end of 2016/17. This includes £1m of savings negotiated ahead of the formal budget consultation.

A report to cabinet at Broadland highlights the cuts would come under a backdrop of a 40pc cut in the Supporting People budget over six years.

This, alongside an increase of a quarter on the Housing Options service in the first half of this year, and use of temporary accommodation at a 10 year high, would put huge strain on services.

Rough sleeping in Greater Norwich has increased from 13 to 34 rough sleepers in the last year.

'It continues to be a challenging time for housing services at the council and this situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future,' says the report.

'The scale and pace of the proposed cuts are such that none of the options being worked up by the county council can be supported. 'The impacts on vulnerable people are too great to contemplate and will lead to increased homelessness, tenancy loss, and greater demand on this council as well as adult social care and health services.

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'The amount being sought is too much and the timescale being proposed is not sufficient to mitigate the impacts. The risks to the wider system that will arise from the proposed efficiencies are too great and will undermine the residue of housing related support services. 'In effect, the proposed efficiencies will shunt costs from the county council onto this council.'

The report will go before Broadland cabinet on Tuesday, December 20, as officers recommend a rejection of the cuts.