83 areas will share £30 million to boost the immediate support available to people living on the streets and help them into accommodation.
83 areas will share £30 million to boost the immediate support available to people living on the streets and help them into accommodation Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP confirmed today (9 June 2018).
Councils across England with the highest numbers of rough sleepers will receive a share of this funding to significantly increase the support they are able to offer people now and also those at risk this coming winter.
Funding will be used to provide an additional 1,750 additional bed spaces for rough sleepers and an additional 531 dedicated homelessness workers. The funding will also help improve the co-ordination of services available to those in need and at risk.
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:
“Given how dangerous it is to sleep rough, we are pleased that ministers have recognised that urgent action is needed to support people off the street and out of danger, as well as to prevent people ending up on the streets in the first place.
“Effective outreach services are a crucial part of this along with sufficient emergency accommodation and assessment and support for people with mental health and substance use problems.
“While this money is a welcome first step, we hope that the government will provide sufficient funding alongside its forthcoming rough sleeping strategy to achieve the Prime Minister’s goal of halving rough sleeping in this parliament and ending it within 10 years.”
Among the projects this funding will cover:
- Camden – will receive £870k for a significant expansion of their outreach team to deliver targeted street interventions focusing on hot spot areas, as well as new staff to support rough sleepers to keep their own accommodation
- Cornwall – will receive over £430k for crisis hostel accommodation, cold weather provision and support for the most disengaged rough sleepers with chronic needs
- Manchester City Council – will receive £418k to fund specialist staff to work with young rough sleepers and offenders and provide additional night shelter beds and supported hostel beds
Councils will be supported by the government’s new Rough Sleeping Initiative Team consisting of experts from the sector with a proven track record of successfully helping rough sleepers and preventing those at risk from becoming homeless.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon. James Brokenshire MP said:
“No one should ever have to sleep rough. I am determined that more people living on the streets and those at risk this coming winter get the help they need now.
“That’s why I am making £30 million available that will help councils boost the immediate support they are able to offer. Whether this pays for more beds or more outreach workers this will make a real difference now.
“Many challenging factors lie behind rough sleeping, from mental health problems to addiction and our long-term strategy to be published this summer will outline how we plan to tackle them and eliminate rough sleeping for good.”
This funding builds on significant government action already taken including the new Housing First Pilots announced last month to get people into stable and affordable accommodation. In April the Homelessness Reduction Act was introduced which will ensure more people are provided with the support they need sooner. In total the government is investing more than £1.2 billion to tackle all forms of homelessness.
Next month government will publish its long-term Rough Sleeping Strategy that has been developed in partnership with charities and local government. It will set out a comprehensive plan to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it entirely by 2027 by ensuring those sleeping rough have appropriate routes away from the streets – and prevent them from sleeping rough in the first place.
This latest funding will help local authorities using tried and tested methods in their area such as:
- Brighton – will receive just under £0.5 million for new outreach staff, psychological support and temporary accommodation for rough sleepers
- Camden – will receive £870,000 for a significant expansion of their outreach team to deliver targeted street interventions focusing on hot spot areas, as well as new staff to support rough sleepers to keep their own accommodation
- Cornwall – will receive £437,000 for crisis hostel accommodation, cold weather provision and assertive outreach, which targets the most disengaged rough sleepers with chronic support needs, offering a range of support to end their homelessness
- Leicester – will receive £265,000 to increase outreach provision, create a Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator role and establish an innovative “Housing Led” scheme enhancing options for those sleeping rough in the city
- Lincoln – will receive £376,000 to increase outreach and specialist support provision; the funding will also provide 15 bed spaces for rough sleepers with complex needs and create a Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator post
- Manchester City Council – will receive £418,000 to fund specialist staff including staff who will work with young rough sleepers and offenders, additional night shelter beds and supported hostel beds
- Plymouth – will receive £363,000 to develop a multi-agency team to deliver bespoke interventions for rough sleepers as well as temporary accommodation and housing coupled with support for rough sleepers
- Westminster – will receive over £534,000 to deliver new Housing First units, to support rough sleepers with complex needs get off the streets into stable and affordable accommodation; the funding will also provide for 18 staff including mental health specialists, bed spaces for women and couples and extended night shelter provision
This latest announcement builds on government action to date, in the efforts to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it altogether by 2027. This includes:
- £1.2 billion investment in a number of programmes, including protecting core funding of £315 million to local authorities for their work on homelessness, and an additional £617 million in Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding, which councils can use to work more strategically to prevent and tackle local homelessness pressures
- piloting the internationally-proven Housing First approach – last month Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands received the go-ahead from government to launch new pilot projects worth more than £28 million to support rough sleepers with complex needs get off the streets into stable and affordable accommodation
- introducing the Homelessness Reduction Act – the new Act came into force in April 2018 and is the most ambitious legal reform in decades; it places new duties on councils to prevent and relieve homelessness, including for single homeless people who are at greater risk of sleeping rough
- a cross-government homelessness and rough sleeping taskforce supported by a panel of homelessness experts, charities and local government that is driving forward a new national strategy to be published in July that will make life on the streets a thing of the past
- investing £9 billion to build more affordable housing, including new council homes
- up to £135 million of investment in housing for vulnerable people including those most at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping; the funding from dormant assets will be directed to Big Society Capital for them to deploy; the first investment opportunities in this programme will be launched in the autumn