6000 New Homes to Help End Rough Sleeping
New plans to provide thousands of long-term, safe homes for vulnerable rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic was revealed on Sunday May 24th, by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP.
This ambitious commitment – which is the biggest of its kind since the Government launched its Rough Sleeping Initiative – is to be backed by £160 million in 2020, and will also support the thousands of rough sleepers currently relying on emergency housing, and will enable them to move on to more sustainable, long-term housing.
By accelerating the plans for the £381 million announcement for rough sleeping services at the Budget in March 2020, the funding will ensure that 6,000 new housing units will be put into the system, with 3,300 of these being made available within the next 12 months.
In addition to accelerating this capital spend for investment in housing stock, the UK Government is also increasing the revenue support of the total programme by 37%, in order to make sure that rough sleepers have the support they need to stay off the streets for good.
Once they are in their new homes, rough sleepers will be supported by specialist staff in order to access the help the need, such as mental health or substance abuse support, so they can rebuild their lives and move towards either getting into training, or back into the workplace.
As part of this commitment, Homes England, in partnership with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has pledged to work hand in hand with leading housing associations and local authorities to fast-track thousands of units of longer-term accommodation for rough sleepers needed now.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:
“We have offered accommodation to over 90% of known rough sleepers in order to help them stay safe during the pandemic. This has been possible because of an incredible effort by the government, councils and charities. Thousands of lives have been protected as a result of the shared commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our society throughout this national emergency and we continue to fund this vital project.
“This government wants to end rough sleeping for good, and we now have a real opportunity to deliver on this moral mission. I’m backing this effort with £433 million to fast-track the longer-term and safe accommodation needed to ensure as few rough sleepers as possible return to the streets. This is an unprecedented commitment – the most ambitious of its kind and the single biggest injection of specialist accommodation since the rough sleepers initiative began.”
This will be completely transformative and changes the lives of thousands of rough sleepers for the better.”
Over the next few weeks, the Government will work in partnership with local councils, local leaders and the property sector to make sure the new generation of housing for some of the most vulnerable in society is delivered as quickly as possible. Interim accommodation is also being committed by the YHA, the YMCA and some universities. The taskforce will also continue to work with partners on this so no one has to go back onto the streets.
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