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Rough Sleeping

Volume 680: debated on Thursday 17 September 2020

On 18 July, as part of the Government’s “Everyone In” initiative, we launched the next steps accommodation programme to support local authorities and their partners to prevent the nearly 15,000 people accommodated during the pandemic from returning to the streets. There are two parts to this funding: £105 million to pay for short-term and immediate accommodation and support; and £161 million to deliver 3,300 units of longer-term move-on accommodation this year—part of the £433 million total.

Today I have announced the allocations for the short-term aspect of this funding. 274 councils across England will be receiving £91.5 million to provide short-term and immediate accommodation and support to help vulnerable people to move on into sustainable accommodation. This funding will enable councils and providers to support individuals into the private rented sector, facilitate reconnections with friends and family, or maintain or extend emergency accommodation where necessary on a short-term basis, including where additional provision is required over the winter. Additionally, this funding will allow local areas to provide support for those with complex needs. We will continue to work with local authorities to allocate the remaining £13.5 million funding to enable them to tackle new or emerging challenges.

For the longer-term aspect of the fund, we are progressing our assessment of bids. This includes conducting due diligence regarding proposals and undertaking further negotiations where required to make proposals viable. Details on successful bids will be announced in due course. This allocation is part of a broader £433 million funding package which will provide 6,000 homes for rough sleepers over the course of the Parliament, the largest ever investment in accommodation of this kind.

Taken together, this funding will provide immediate reassurance to those housed as part of our “Everyone In” campaign and give longer-term assurance of more move-on accommodation—ensuring as few people as possible return to the streets.

Today’s announcement is on top of the £112 million rough sleeping initiative funding provided to councils earlier this year. We have also provided £3.7 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of covid-19, including supporting homeless people and a further £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers as part of a total package of almost £28 billion of support to councils, communities and businesses since March. An additional £23 million will be provided so that vulnerable individuals experiencing rough sleeping, including those currently in emergency accommodation as a response to covid-19, can access the specialist help they need for substance dependency issues. This funding, together with our pledge to enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act fully, demonstrates our commitment to making the most of this opportunity to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society, and to ending rough sleeping for good.