Funding allocated for 3,300 new homes for rough sleepers

  • Thousands of new, safe, long-term homes for rough sleepers
  • Backed by more than £150 million government funding, new homes will be available by end of March 2021
  • Taken together, government spending on rough sleeping and homelessness this year is over £700 million

More than 3,300 new long-term homes for rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been approved, the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has announced today (29 October 2020).

Backed by government investment of more than £150 million the new homes will be made available in every region of England. This will enable people who sleep rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, to be rehoused in secure, long-term accommodation, providing some of the most vulnerable in society with a permanent place to live and help to rebuild their lives.

These will be available by the end of March 2021 and are part of the government’s investment of £433 million to deliver 6,000 new homes for rough sleepers by the end of this Parliament. In March the government launched the ‘Everyone In’ campaign to house rough sleepers in safe accommodation, helping to protect thousands of lives during the pandemic.

By September over 29,000 vulnerable people had been supported, with over 10,000 in emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 provided with settled accommodation or move on support.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

Our Everyone In plan is widely considered the most effective action taken by any country in the world to protect those sleeping rough from the pandemic. And that work hasn’t stopped – 29,000 rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been supported into safe accommodation since the start of COVID-19.

The next step in our mission is to ensure they have a more settled home. Which is why we are providing over £150 million, as part of the biggest ever investment in homes for the homeless, to deliver over 3,000 new long-term homes across England, giving them the stability and security they need to start to rebuild their lives.

Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping said:

The efforts to protect rough sleepers throughout the pandemic have been truly outstanding, and I want to wholeheartedly thank all the charities, councils, housing providers and support groups who have made this possible.

We want to ensure the progress continues for years to come and the new, safe and supported homes are the cornerstone of our work to tackle rough sleeping and provide a solid foundation for those affected to rebuild their lives.

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, said:

It’s positive that this funding has now been allocated to provide long-term homes for rough sleepers. These homes, along with support, will be vital in ensuring people who have experienced rough sleeping do not return to the streets.

Housing associations will be providing many of these homes and support and look forward to working with local authorities to ensure people are helped into permanent housing.

This is an important step towards achieving the government’s manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024, alongside investment in new homes for social rent.

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Homes England said:

We’re proud to be supporting local authorities, charities, housing associations and our other partners access the funding they need to get on and deliver these crucial homes.

In total, 276 schemes have been approved across England, including 38 in London alone, which will provide 904 new homes for rough sleepers. Outside of London, 238 councils have received approval to move to the next phase of development, encompassing 2,430 new homes.

This funding is on top of the £91.5 million allocated to 274 councils in September to fund their individual local plans for rough sleepers over the coming months, and to help provide short-term and interim accommodation for vulnerable people, as well as the £10 million Cold Weather Payment for councils to help to keep rough sleepers safe this winter.

Once they have the keys to their new home, rough sleepers will be supported by specialist staff to access the help they need, such as support for mental health or substance misuse needs, so they can rebuild their lives, move towards training and work, and remain off the streets for good.

During the pandemic, the government has worked closely with councils and charitable organisations to offer vulnerable people safe accommodation and support.

Thanks to the funding provided by this government, and the efforts of charities, local government and other partners, in just over two months, more than 90% of rough sleepers known to councils at the beginning of the pandemic were offered accommodation to help protect them.

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