Councils in England will share over £46 million to help get rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation ranging from Night Shelters to permanent housing.
The money has been allocated from the Government’s £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy budget, to 246 areas nationwide – providing an estimated 750 additional staff and over 2,600 new beds in total. It will be paid out to councils over the next two years. As well as paying for accommodation the funds will be used for additional staff and outreach services. Over three-quarters of local authorities in England are now covered by the Rough Sleeping Initiative programme, which aims to end rough sleeping by the year 2027.
It is estimated that the money will provide funding for up to:
- 110 rough sleeping coordinators to improve local handing of the issue;
- 300 outreach workers and 350 other support and specialist roles;
- over 1,400 new emergency bed spaces, including winter night shelter provision;
- over 700 new long-term beds, including in the private rented sector and supported housing;
- more than 500 new temporary spaces, such as in hostels; and
- over £2.5 million for spot-purchasing beds and increasing access to accommodation.
Some projects will provide specialist support such as family reconnections, immigration advice or access to mental and physical health services. Others will focus on providing services for specific groups of people, such as vulnerable women, those transitioning from leaving care or people trying to get their life back on track after leaving prison.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said:
“The £100 million-backed Rough Sleeping Strategy sets out this Government’s blueprint for ending rough sleeping for good. We must keep up the momentum and that’s why we are giving this funding to areas and projects that need it, ensuring progress continues to be made and people are given the help they need to turn their lives around.”
Some £34 million is going to the 83 authorities with the highest number of rough sleepers and a further £12 million is set aside for spending on other areas and projects in the 2019-20 year. An additional £1 million will be funded from within existing budgets.
By Patrick Mooney, Editor