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When everyone has a home

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£100 million for new homes for rough sleepers under Government strategy to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027

Government Ministers have launched a new strategy with the aim of eliminating rough sleeping in England by 2027.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have indicated that up to 6,000 vulnerable people will benefit from specialist support under new measures in the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy.

MHCLG commented: “Backed by £100 million of funding, the strategy sets out the next steps towards achieving our aim of supporting everyone off the streets and into a home, and to end rough sleeping entirely by 2027”.

According to statistics published at the start of 2018, an estimated 4,751 people were sleeping on streets in England. Representing a 15% rise on the previous year and a consecutive rise for the seventh year running.

The Rough Sleeping Strategy was developed across Government and in conjunction with the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, which is made up of representatives from the homelessness sector and local government. It sets out a three-pillared approach towards tackling rough sleeping:

·         Prevention – understanding the issues that lead to rough sleeping and providing timely support for those at risk;

·         Intervention – helping those already sleeping rough with swift support tailored to their individual circumstances; and

·         Recovery – supporting people in finding a new home and rebuilding their lives.

MHCLG states that their aim is to ensure people who currently sleep rough will be rapidly housed and offered comprehensive support to ensure their specific needs are addressed, in order that they can move into suitable permanent accommodation at the earliest opportunity.

In launching the strategy, MHCLG have announced the following measures:

·         £50 million towards building homes outside of London for rough sleepers and those who seek to move on from hostels or refuges and need additional support (£50 million having previously been invested in building additional homes in London);

·         £19 million of funding to provide flexible support in homes, which have been provided exclusively for people who have a history of rough sleeping. This is intended to help over 5,000 people at risk of rough sleeping over the next two years, to sustain their tenancies in homes across the housing sector;

·         £17 million to fund in the region of 15 pilots of the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ scheme to assess the needs of people at risk of rough sleeping and to support them;

·         Investment in training of front line staff to identify victims of domestic abuse, modern slavery and those at risk of substance misuse, in addition to training staff to effectively support LGBT people;

·         £5 million funding for non-UK nationals who sleep rough;

·         £3.2 million per year for two years for a new range of pilots to help people leaving prison find stable and sustainable accommodation, in addition to new funding for intensive support for care leavers with complex needs; and

·         £2 million in health funding to enable access to health and support services for people who are sleeping rough.


Homelessness charities welcomed the announcement, but said that more needed to be done. The Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel cautioned that cross-departmental plans were required to address the root causes of homelessness. The Panel commented that it would be necessary to build more social housing and foster greater security of tenure for tenants, in addition to ensuring tenants have ease of access to benefits and any support services required (such as mental health and substance misuse services).

The Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire MP has indicated that he will take the Panel’s statement into account and will review the strategy annually.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We want to make sure we get to the root of the problem unique to every local authority and tackle these reasons. This strategy is the first step of a nine-year plan towards ending rough sleeping by 2027, but it is just the beginning”.



Tagged In

Policy, Homelessness

This article was written on 14 August 2018. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.