The Government has allocated more than £150m to pay for more than 3,000 permanent homes aimed specifically at getting rough sleepers off the streets and provided with specialist support.
In all some 276 schemes have been approved across England, including 38 in London. These should deliver 3,300 new homes by the end of March 2021, with further allocations expected to bring the total number of new homes for rough sleepers up to 6,000 by the end of this parliament.
This is the latest step in the Government’s aim to end rough sleeping by 2024. Those moving into the new housing will also be supported by specialist staff to access support for mental health or substance misuse.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick 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 £150m 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.”
However, some charities and campaign groups are warning that further support will be necessary to avoid a homelessness crisis over the winter due to the economy shedding thousands of jobs. At the same time, night shelters may be forced to close or drastically reduce the numbers housed due to social distancing restrictions.
By Patrick Mooney, Editor