LGIU Scrutiny Guide

By:   Published: June 2006


This guide will assist local authorities in examining all aspects of homelessness in their area.

Summary

Shelter has sponsored the new Local Government Information Unit Guide to the Scrutiny of Homelessness Policy and Strategy.

The Homelessness Act 2002 introduced the need for local authorities to adopt a strategic approach to tackling homelessness in their area. It placed councils under a duty to draw up homelessness strategies, which would play a key role in the prevention of homelessness. These strategies must be reviewed at least every five years and local authorities are currently preparing to review their homelessness strategies by 2008.

The Guide will assist local authorities in examining all aspects of homelessness in their area before re-drafting their strategy. It will enable the council to examine the whole range of services provided to those who are homeless, not just the services provided by the homelessness section of the council.  Scrutiny panels are well-placed to consult widely and in particular can consider the views of hard-to-reach groups, who voices often go unheard. Such a process is key to ensuring local policy and practice are fine-tuned to fit changing local need.

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