The news that the next phase of funding for the Government’s scheme to provide homes for people who had been sleeping rough will cover the next three years, has been described as ‘welcome’ by leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s.
Today (18 March) the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched the application process for councils to submit their requests for a share of the £212m funding.
The money, which is part of the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme, will provide funding for both housing and support over the next three years.
Homes will be made available in every region of England, enabling people who sleep rough, or who are at risk of sleeping rough, to be rehoused in secure, long-term accommodation.
It is the next stage of investment in longer-term accommodation for people who have experienced rough sleeping, and will be used to support schemes such as those provided by St Mungo’s in partnership with Bristol City Council.
Chief Executive of St Mungo’s Steve Douglas CBE said: “This is welcome news, and what we hope will be the next step in the development of a long term strategy to end rough sleeping for good.
“We saw unprecedented collaboration between national, regional and local government, health agencies, homelessness organisations and housing associations in the response to the pandemic.
“That response undoubtedly saved lives. We must now ensure that this recognition that longer term planning and funding for the homes and the health support that is necessary, is a cross-government commitment.”
On 26 March last year the Government launched the Everyone In initiative which saw people who had been sleeping rough supported into emergency accommodation to help protect them from the virus.
So far more than 37,000 people have been helped, with more than 26,000 already moved on to longer-term accommodation.
Yesterday the Public Affairs Committee released a report analysing the Government’s handling of the issue rough sleeping during the pandemic which praised the “considerable achievement” of the Everyone In scheme, but which also addressed several areas of concern.
In May last year the Government pledged £161m for the first year of the programme which was to be used to provide more than 3,000 new homes.
In total the Government has pledged to provide 6,000 homes by the end of the current Parliament.