The Government  has announced today the launch of its Next Steps Accommodation Programme “to help ensure some of the most vulnerable people in society continue to have a roof over their heads and are helped into long term accommodation.”

This means that councils and their local partners can apply for funds from the Programme to cover property costs and support new tenancies for around 15,000 vulnerable people who were provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic.

Responding to the news, St Mungo’s Chief Executive Steve Douglas CBE said: “This is to be welcomed. It brings both capital and revenue support, and looks like it can be used flexibly, which is good news.

“St Mungo’s, along with many homelessness organisations, has spent the past few months, ensuring that thousands of vulnerable people who were homeless on our streets were protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Everyone In programme, has been successful. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), regional and local authorities, including London’s Greater London Authority (GLA), housing associations and all involved should be praised for the outstanding joint efforts, which undoubtedly have saved many lives.

“We are currently managing – on behalf of authorities – hotels across London, Brighton, Bristol and Oxford, and working with over 2,700 clients. During this time our teams, like others across the country, have continued supporting people to move on into more suitable longer term accommodation. Our attention, and that of other organisations, has been in ensuring there is no cliff edge for those we are currently providing accommodation and support for. That is why this news is so welcome.

“There is now, I think, a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that what we have learnt through the pandemic is not lost but informs and shapes the sector’s thinking on the next steps and longer term solutions.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he is to create 900 new long-term homes for homeless Londoners, after securing a £67m grant from the Government. Read the Mayor’s press release here.