July 2017 – Rough Sleeping and Homelessness

July 2017 – Rough Sleeping and Homelessness

Thank you for contacting me about homelessness.

I believe that, in a civilized society, it is unacceptable that people should be faced with the fear of homelessness. It is vitally important to help the most vulnerable in society get their lives back on track.

Last year, the Prime Minister unveiled plans for new homelessness prevention schemes, including targeted support for those at risk of sleeping rough. The Government is spending over £550 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in England by 2020 following the 2015 Spending Review. This includes: protecting £315 million homelessness prevention funding that goes to local authorities; increasing central government funding for homelessness programmes to £149 million; and £100 million to deliver at least 2,000 low-cost move-on accommodation places, to enable people leaving hostels and refuges to make a sustainable recovery from a homelessness crisis.

Further, I am proud that the Government supported Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Act, which will provide vital support for many more people.

I was pleased to see that the Conservative Manifesto at the recent general election committed to full implementation of the Act, setting an aim to halve rough sleeping over the course of the Parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. This will be done through setting up a new homelessness reduction taskforce to focus on prevention and affordable housing, and piloting a Housing First approach to tackle rough sleeping.

It is vital that we take every action, as part of our prevention approach, to ensure young people get the help they need. The Government has invested £15 million in the Fair Chance Fund programme which is supporting around 1,900 18-25 year olds with complex needs into accommodation, education, training and employment.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.