18 May 2020
The government has announced that funding will be fast-tracked to make long-term homes available for rough sleepers who have been placed in temporary accommodation during the coronavirus outbreak.
We welcome this announcement. We have called for housing and support to be made available for rough sleepers and have asked for certainty around funding. We recently wrote to Dame Louise Casey, alongside housing association partners and Homes for Cathy, CIH, Homeless Link and the National Federation of ALMOs, with an offer to work closely with Dame Louise on the Rough Sleeping Taskforce announced earlier in the year.
We will monitor further announcements closely and inform our members when the funding has been allocated or bidding is opened.
As well as accelerating capital funding for investment in housing stock, the government is increasing the revenue part of the programme by 37% to “make sure that the rough sleepers have the support they need to stay off the streets for good”. The support funding will also be available for four years.
Homes England has also committed to work alongside MHCLG and partners to support the Rough Sleeping Taskforce. In addition, the Department for Education will provide £700,000 for councils to support care leavers at risk of homelessness and rough sleeping.
Dame Louise Casey has also called on all parts of society, including communities, businesses, charities and faith groups, to join forces and help new Rough Sleeping Taskforce, and announced that nearly 15,000 rough sleepers have been housed in emergency accommodation such as hotels since the beginning of the crisis. Community partners have committed their support, including:
The government plans to work with councils, local leaders and the property sector through the Rough Sleeping Taskforce. The work aims to ensure that housing is delivered as quickly as possible and in the most cost-effective way. Interim accommodation is also being committed by the YHA, the YMCA and some universities.
Housing associations are well placed to work with local authorities to provide housing for rough sleepers. The NHF already sits on the government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and we will be seeking to work closely with the taskforce as well.
While the funding announcement is very welcome, we will keep pressing for the other funding and the changes we need to ensure there is absolutely no return to rough sleeping. There is also an immediate need to support councils to provide homes for people who will be quickly moved on from the hotels where they have been temporarily housed.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced £6m of emergency funding for homelessness providers who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund will support frontline charities working directly with people experiencing homelessness. To be eligible organisations applying must have an annual turnover of less than £5m.
Grants are available for either/or both of the following purposes:
Bids are now open for domestic abuse safe accommodation and homelessness funding.
The government has announced more than £76m in extra funding to support those most vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.
This funding will support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery as well as ensuring vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need. Further information is below.
The government has also announced that those at risk of homelessness because of fleeing domestic abuse will automatically be in priority need under local authorities’ duty to relieve homelessness.
This funding should also help frontline charities to offer different ways of supporting those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services.
An additional £6m will also be made available for homelessness charities to support their work during this time. This funding will be shared among organisations who are on the frontline keeping vulnerable people without a home safe, and giving them the help they need during the coronavirus outbreak.
So far there is no further detail of when organisations will be able to bid for this additional money. We are seeking clarity on this fund and will provide further updates shortly.
You can read the full statement on the government’s website.