§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been undertaken by his Department, or sponsored by his Department, into the social and financial benefits of using public funds to support housing authorities and housing associations in providing good standard rented accommodation rather than in supporting the homeless in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation.
§ Sir George Young
None. It is for local authorities to decide how best to fulfil their duties towards the homeless under the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977. In doing so they will no doubt take into account the whole range of accommodation available in the public and private sector in their area, the relative costs of different forms of provision, and the timescale in which that provision is required. Bed and breakfast accommodation should be regarded as a last resort as stated in our code of guidance on the Act.