Thank you to those who have contacted me about rough sleeping.
I firmly believe that just one person without a roof over their head is one too many, and it is important that the most vulnerable people in society are helped to get their lives back on track. That is why I am pleased over £1.2 billion has been allocated to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping through to 2020.
St Mungo’s does excellent work in tackling rough sleeping and homelessness, and is a member of the Government-backed rough sleeping advisory panel set up in 2018. While the number of rough sleepers declined in 2018 compared to 2017, more needs to be done to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This is why the Government announced a £500 million funding boost for housing associations to build 11,000 more affordable homes and properties for social rent, helping reach the target of 300,000 new properties each year by the mid-2020s.
I welcome the launch of the £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy expected to provide rapid support to 6,000 vulnerable people either new to the streets or at risk of becoming rough sleepers. This will complement the £28 million Housing First pilots that are supporting the most entrenched rough sleepers by providing them with stable accommodation and intensive support.
Furthermore, I am glad that the Homelessness Reduction Act, the most ambitious legislative reform for tackling homelessness in decades, has recently come into force. This Act, praised by St Mungo’s, requires councils to provide early support to people at risk of homelessness.
I am confident that these measures will reduce homelessness across our country and help to achieve the aim of halving rough sleeping by 2022, and that the upcoming Spending Review will consider the best way forward in funding homelessness prevention and reducing rough sleeping.