£174 million to provide homes for 2,900 rough sleepers

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Rough sleepers across the country will be supported off the streets and into long-term homes with £174 million funding boost, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced today (11 February 2022).

The funding, which forms part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme, will create over 2,900 move-on homes between 2021 and 2024 as part of the £433 million programme.

All housing provided includes refurbished flats from unlettable homes in disrepair and new build properties, converted hotels and schools.

The accommodation will be provided with specially-trained support workers – often from homelessness charities such as St Mungo’s – who will be offering treatment for mental health issues and substance misuse to help long-term rough sleepers and newly homeless people remain in their tenancies and into employment or training.

Councils across England are invited to bid for funding for the remainder of the programme as part of a total investment of £433 million in safe, long-term, stable and supported housing for rough sleepers.

Eddie Hughes, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping said:

One person sleeping rough on our streets is one too many, and more is needed to help people who find themselves in this terrible situation.

That’s why I’m delighted to announce this funding for the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme, which is supporting people to access housing and, crucially, specialist support to rebuild their lives and become independent again.

This government does not just want to make a dent in the number of rough sleepers – we want to end rough sleeping for good, and through innovative programmes like this we’re on track to ensure no one is forced to spend a night on the streets.

The government is working closely with leading housing associations and local authorities to fast-track thousands of homes and bring rough sleepers off the streets for good.

Areas benefitting from the funding include:

  • Bedford: The council will purchase 10 open market properties that will provide independent living and support to rough sleepers with the highest need.
  • Nottingham: 35 homes available for rough sleepers across a number of schemes, including the purchase and repair of 15 homes close to the city centre and local amenities.
  • London: Southwark Council has purchased 20 self-contained flats specifically for rough sleepers and ex-rough sleepers, as well as providing additional support through their successful Housing First service.
  • Bristol: Over 80 homes across the city will be provided for rough sleepers, including 8 modern, high-quality modular properties in partnership with the Salvation Army.
  • Liverpool: Rough sleepers will move into over 100 homes close to the city centre, the majority of which will benefit from a garden to encourage a settled environment for tenants.
  • West Lindsey: The council will purchase 6 homes in the towns of Gainsborough and Market Rasen, with rough sleepers supported by trained staff to sustain their tenancies and live as independently as possible.

This programme is part of the government’s drive to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament – backed by over £2 billion for rough sleeping and homelessness services over the next 3 years, with 6,000 homes pledged for rough sleepers by the end of this Parliament.

The government says it is already making progress to meet its target of ending rough sleeping – the annual rough sleeping snapshot in 2020 saw a 37% reduction from the year before, driven by the success of the Everyone In initiative. Rough sleeping levels have fallen 43% since 2017.

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