The Government's manifesto promise to tackle homelessness will be addressed in a Bill allowing the phased release of up to pounds 5bn in council house sales receipts. But there is no sign yet of Labour fulfilling its other promise of a new duty on local authorities to protect those who are homeless through no fault of their own or who are in priority need.
Officials described the Local Authority (Capital Receipts) Bill announced yesterday as "the first step towards delivering the Government's commitment to reinvest capital receipts from the sale of council houses in building new homes and renovating old ones". As well as tackling homelessness, ministers see the new programme as a means of providing work in the construction industry.
The Conservatives said during the election campaign that the interest raised by the receipts helped to keep down public borrowing. Fran Abrams