Today, the Government are launching three Housing First pilots in Greater Manchester, the west midlands, and the Liverpool City Region. The programme will total £28 million of Government funding and include a robust external evaluation. The funding allocated to each region is as follows, and is based on the number of rough sleepers, or those at risk of rough sleeping who we think would benefit from a Housing First approach:
Greater Manchester: £8.0 million
Liverpool City Region: £7.7 million
West Midlands: £9.6 million
The pilots will support circa 1,000 rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping with the most complex needs to help them to end their homelessness. People will be provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support. This will help them to recover from complex issues, such as substance abuse and mental health difficulties, and sustain their tenancies.
There is a growing body of international evidence supporting a Housing First approach as a way to ending rough sleeping, but to date this has not been rigorously evaluated on a large scale in the UK. Today’s announcement is a demonstration of this Government’s support for evidence-based approaches that have the potential to radically improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The Government will carefully consider the evidence that is gathered to inform any expansion of Housing First.
Piloting Housing First gives effect to a manifesto commitment and is an important element of the Government’s effort to end rough sleeping by 2027. It will build on the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, and the new rough sleeping initiative my predecessor announced on 30 March. The Government will bring forward a rough sleeping strategy in July that sets out how we intend to first halve and then end rough sleeping in 2022 and 2027.