Tens of thousands of vulnerable people will be protected from homelessness by a £654 million funding package government announced today, (23 December 2022).
All councils in England will receive their share of funding from the Homelessness Prevention Grant to provide vital support to those who need it the most in their local areas over the next two years.
The money will be used to provide temporary accommodation for families, help individuals at risk of becoming homeless pay deposits for new homes and mediate with landlords to avoid evictions.
£24 million of the funding will help councils support homeless domestic abuse victims, ensuring no one has to stay with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.
Today’s funding follows a £50 million top up to the grant for this year, announced last month, and forms part of the government’s wider £2 billion package of support to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, outlined earlier this year.
Councils have a statutory duty to ensure no family is left without a roof over their heads and today’s funding announcement will help them to carry out this duty.
The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:
The government is determined to end rough sleeping and tackle homelessness because for too many people, the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a warm and safe environment is beyond reach.
We know that words alone are not enough. That is why government is investing £2 billion over the next 3 years to give some of the most vulnerable people a roof over their heads, along with targeted support to rebuild their lives.
Today’s announcement will provide vital support to families who are at risk of rough sleeping, including by providing temporary accommodation and helping with deposits.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan, said:
Everyone should have a safe and secure home. This government is determined to prevent homelessness and to get vulnerable families and individuals the support they need.
Whether it’s emergency housing, support to pay a deposit, or mediation to prevent eviction, today’s package will provide help to those who need it the most at the discretion of those who know them best.
Councillor Alex Dale, Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, said:
We are really proud of the services the Homelessness Prevention Grant allows us to fund.
Homelessness is something that can affect anyone, especially during these challenging times, and that’s why we use the grant to serve as many local residents as we can.
Since the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2018, over 500,000 households have had their homelessness successfully prevented or relieved.
Councils can use the money flexibly based on their knowledge of the local area and the local housing market. Many councils use the funding to offer mediation services for landlords and tenants to prevent evictions or implement special programmes to identify root causes of homelessness.
Pathways of Chesterfield, for example, provides a range of services that help break down the barriers that have led someone to homelessness and give them tools to move forward.
Julian, a beneficiary of Pathways said:
This support will also get me into fulltime work now that I have a place of my own. It was a comforting experience. Until you’ve been in this position it’s hard to put into words. As Pathways housed me, it’s been a massive positive impact on my mental health.
To make sure distribution of funding reflects current pressures and demand in areas across England, the department consulted councils and other interested stakeholders on amending the funding arrangements for the grant earlier this year. Today’s allocations reflect this new formula.