Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has set out a cross-government plan of action to significantly reduce the number of people sleeping rough as the Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force.
Based on proven activity that has helped deliver substantial decreases before, this further action should have a rapid impact on rough sleeping now and represents major progress towards the government’s commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027.
The new package of measures – which builds on government action to date – includes:
- a new Rough Sleeping Team made up of rough sleeping and homelessness experts, drawn from, and funded by government departments and agencies with specialist knowledge across a wide-range of areas from housing, mental health to addiction
- a £30 million fund for 2018 to 2019 with further funding agreed for 2019 to 2020 targeted at local authorities with high numbers of people sleeping rough; the Rough Sleeping Team will work with these areas to support them to develop tailored local interventions to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets
- £100,000 funding to support frontline Rough Sleeping workers across the country to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to work with vulnerable rough sleepers.
In addition, the government is also working with the National Housing Federation to look at providing additional, coordinated move-on accommodation for rough sleepers across the country. This builds on the existing 3,750 ‘clearing house’ places already provided in London.