Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced on 15th May that an extra £203m funding will be made available for the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.
The funding will be given to councils across England and will support projects such as shelters and specialist mental health or addiction services. It will be used by councils, charities and other local groups to fund up to 14,500 bed spaces.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has also announced that an analysis of the Rough Sleeping Programme shows it has reduced rough sleeping by 32% since it launched in 2018.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, has commented: “Efforts over the last year to get people off our streets, into safe accommodation and connected to support have been vital. This funding to continue that work is welcome, and will help local authorities continue to make life changing interventions.
“But the number of people helped by this funding will only scratch the surface. For people with multiple support needs who require specialist programmes, like Housing First, to help them out of homelessness for good, this announcement falls short. Without such sustained support, those helped off the streets today risk returning to them tomorrow.
“It must also be acknowledged that getting people off the streets is just the beginning of the journey to leaving homelessness behind. To end rough sleeping in England for good, we urgently need long term solutions, where people are supported into safe and permanent homes. The UK Government must lay out a national strategy to provide the genuinely affordable housing we need and deliver Housing First programmes for those who need them.”