Thank you for contacting me about homelessness.
Even just one person without a roof over his or her head is one too many, and it is vitally important that the most vulnerable people in society are helped to get their lives back on track.
The Government recently announced £263 million would be devoted in 2020-21 to help local authorities tackle homelessness in our communities.
Between 2010 and mid-2018, there have been over 1.6 million cases of homelessness prevention and relief across England. While this is welcome progress, there is much more to be done, which is why I am glad that over £400 million in additional funding was announced this September toward tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.
A new £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy is expected to provide rapid support to up to 6,000 vulnerable people either new to the streets or at risk of becoming rough sleepers. A recent study showed that in 2018 alone, the Rough Sleeping Initiative helped reduce the number of rough sleepers by over a third in funded areas. The Initiative complements the £28 million Housing First pilots which are supporting the most entrenched rough sleepers off the streets by providing them with stable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support.
The Rapid Rehousing Pathway launched in 2018 is helping rough sleepers, and those at risk of rough sleeping, to access the support and settled housing they need to leave the streets for good. The Pathway includes Somewhere Safe to Stay Hubs, which are centres where people can seek shelter while their housing and support needs are assessed. Specialist Navigators will also be assigned to work with up to 1,600 rough sleepers to support them in getting settled accommodation, access local services and sustain a life away from the streets. Lastly, the Pathway provides support to local lettings agencies and support lettings to help rough sleepers into affordable, settled accommodation and help them sustain their tenancies.
Furthermore, the Government has announced that it will carry out a review of legislation around homelessness and rough sleeping, including the Vagrancy Act, to ensure the best measures are in place and that rough sleepers are not discriminated against. The Government will report on its review by March 2020.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch with me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP