Letter: Beds to call home

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was surprised and disappointed that your paper saw fit to repeat the allegation that government promises to replace resettlement units for single homeless people have been broken (report, 3 March). This is not so. Since 1989, 389 beds have been replaced by modern facilities, built to a very high standard, providing 486 beds, a real increase in provision. The remaining units will be either replaced or refurbished by 1996.

The Resettlement Agency's strategy is to replace units where the buildings are past their best. Where the buildings are sound, and in many cases purpose-built, they are sold to reputable organisations that work in the field of the single homeless. The agency provides grants to help new owners to raise the standard of the facilities and to purchase the building. In this way all funding that was used to run the resettlement units is being transferred to the new providers.

Finally, it is not true that the National Audit Office criticised the agency for failing to meet its published targets.

Yours sincerely,

TONY WARD

Chief Executive

Resettlement Agency

London, NW1

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