St Mungo’s today welcomed the government’s announcement on supported housing funding.
The decision means all types of supported housing, including homeless hostels, will continue to be funded via Housing Benefit and funding will not be transferred to local authorities as previously proposed.
Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said:
“This is really welcome news. Protecting supported housing is crucial to achieving the government’s ambition to end rough sleeping and we are glad the government has listened to representations made by St Mungo’s and others.
“These services, including hostels, give people who have been homeless somewhere safe to stay, as well as personalised support to help them to rebuild their lives.
“Keeping the funding for hostel housing costs in the welfare system means services have more reliable income and can continue to provide accommodation suited to the needs of some of society’s most vulnerable people.
“This is great news for people who were really worried about the future of supported housing, including our Save Hostels campaigners, and we are pleased the Government has listened to these concerns.”
Homeless hostels provide 30,000 beds a night in England, and currently represent the country’s primary route out of rough sleeping. For those with multiple and complex needs in particular, they are a crucial stepping stone in a person’s journey from the street to independent accommodation.
Sinclair added: “There is still work to be done to restore funding for support costs, which have been cut due to the overall squeeze on local authority budgets. However we recognise the need to ensure supported housing offers value for money and can truly transform the lives of vulnerable people. We look forward to working closely with the government to get this right in the long-term.”
As a large provider of hostels, St Mungo’s had significant concerns about the government’s decision to alter funding for supported housing. We have campaigned hard to protect funding over the last two years. Our Save Hostels Rebuild Lives campaign focused on this issue, and more than 12,000 people signed our petition calling on the government not to put homeless hostels at risk.
St Mungo’s has also joined sector partners Riverside, Salvation Army and YMCA England to welcome this news. Between them, the four organisations provide over one quarter of short-term supported housing in England.