On 31 January, figures for the 2018 rough sleeping count were published and showed a welcome 2% reduction in the number of rough sleepers. While this decrease is encouraging, I know we must maintain our focus on making sure nobody has to spend even a single night sleeping on the streets. This Government are determined to get to the root of the problem, unique to every local authority, and tackle the complex range of reasons why people sleep rough, helping to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Early Adopters of the Rapid Rehousing Pathway
In December, we announced the locations of our first 11 Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs, one of four elements that make up the rapid rehousing pathway as announced in the rough sleeping strategy in August.
Today, I am pleased to announce the allocation of funding to a further 42 areas across the country for the three remaining elements of the rapid rehousing pathway—navigators, supported lettings and local lettings agencies.
Navigators are specialists assigned to rough sleepers, acting as a single point of contact to support people into settled accommodation, helping them access appropriate local services and sustain a safe life away from the streets;
Local lettings agencies work to source, identify, or provide homes and advice for rough sleepers or those at risk, supporting them into affordable, settled accommodation;
Supported lettings support individuals with a history of rough sleeping to help them to sustain their tenancies.
This funding will enable more than 80 navigators to work with up to 1,600 people sleeping rough, provide up to £2.8 million for supported lettings across 17 areas and up to a further £1.25 million for local letting agencies across nine areas. We estimate supported lettings to support around 600 rough sleepers, with local lettings agencies expected to make around 1,200 properties available.
Local areas will be able to connect people with the right support and sustainable housing to move them swiftly away from the street and facilitate their journey to recovery, bringing us a step closer to ending rough sleeping for good.
The full list of the 42 areas can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/rapid-rehousing-pathway-additional-42-early-adopters