The government has committed £236m towards Housing First style ‘move on’ accommodation for up to 6,000 rough sleepers and those at immediate risk of rough sleeping.
Adam Holloway MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Robert Jenrick with specific responsibility for rough sleeping. The Prime Minister has also appointed Dame Louise Casey to begin a review into rough sleeping across the country. We welcome this appointment as Dame Louise has decades of experience in the homelessness and rough sleeping sector. Casey has committed to look into those struggling with drug and alcohol misuse, and those with physical and mental health issues.
The government has stated that new funding will bring suitable housing forward by acquiring new units, refurbishing existing accommodation units, and leasing private rented sector properties specifically for those who are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.
We welcome the new funding commitments and the government’s acknowledgement that tackling rough sleeping needs urgent action. However, we are asking for them to provide the support and opportunities people deserve through a fair and effective welfare system, coupled with long-term, ring-fenced funding for supported housing and joined-up, secure funding for rough sleeping.
The government can help tackle homelessness and boost social and economic opportunities for millions by signaling their commitment to a ten-year Affordable Housing Programme. This would deliver over one million new homes, including for social rent, across the country.
Together, this can help people into better homes that meet their needs and alleviate homelessness. You can read more about this in our Budget 2020 submission.
Catherine Ryder, Director of Policy and Research at the NHF said:
“Rough sleeping is the sharp and visible edge of the housing crisis, but we have a huge hidden homeless problem in England too, with thousands of families living in temporary accommodation. Whilst getting people off the streets into accommodation is an urgent priority, we also need to see long-term, ring-fenced support funding to prevent homelessness beyond the end of the parliamentary term. We also need to see an ambitious commitment from the government to build affordable homes for social rent”.