Government pledges a further £151m in Spending Review.
St Mungo’s has described as ‘positive’ the announcement that a further £151m is to be made available for the next financial year to help people sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness. Today (25 November) the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the additional investment which the Government has said reaffirms its commitment to ending rough sleeping.
The Spending Review contained detail of £254 million of additional funding, which is comprised of a further £151 million on top of the £103 million that had previously been announced. This will fund accommodation and substance misuse services, to support people sleeping rough and those at risk of homelessness during the pandemic.
Responding to the announcement St Mungo’s Chief Executive Steve Douglas CBE said: “We, along with other charities called on the Chancellor to continue investing in homelessness services and he has responded. The Government’s further commitment to end rough sleeping and the affirmation that this issue is a priority is extremely positive and very welcome.
“We have seen this year what can be done when there is a concerted mutli-agency response to help people who are sleeping rough or experiencing other forms of homelessness. And this momentum should continue.
“This money, in addition to that already pledged through existing programmes, will make a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of people.
“We appreciate that the country is still in an unprecedented financial situation caused by the virus and this is a one year settlement.
“As we move towards recovery we should also work towards longer term solutions and multi-year settlements that align funding for homelessness and support services, through schemes such as the Next Steps and Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programmes.
“This will allow service providers to have the confidence to commit to long term projects which will deliver the level of support needed to help those with more complex needs break the cycle of homelessness and prevent people from returning to the streets.
“St Mungo’s, along with other homeless service providers, will continue to work with our partners in local and national Government to deliver the longer term solutions needed, as we all work towards achieving our shared aim of ending homelessness.”
The additional money will be made available from April 2021.