The Prime Minister has announced an extra £236m to help get people off the streets, the funding will go towards offering Housing First style accommodation for up to 6,000 rough sleepers
Boris Johnson has appointed an independent adviser to lead an urgent review into the causes of rough sleeping. Dame Louise Casey has been appointed to undertake a review into rough sleeping that will provide the government with advice on additional action required to end rough sleeping within this Parliament.
Dame Casey’s role
Dame Casey will provide the government with advice on what is needed to end rough sleeping.
The new funding will bring suitable housing forward by acquiring new units, refurbishing existing accommodation units, and leasing private rented sector properties specifically for those who are at risk of or are rough sleeping.
Dame Louise will report to the Prime Minister and the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government. She will consider as part of the urgent review the links between 24-hour street activity and rough sleeping and how best we can support this group. It will also look into those struggling with drug and alcohol misuse, and those with physical and mental health issues.
The government has already committed £437m to tackle homelessness in 2020/21. This includes more than £112m last year to fund services for people sleeping rough through the Rough Sleeping Initiative. This funding will be used by councils to provide up to 6,000 beds and 2,500 staff over the next year.
This new action also forms part of a wider strategy to tackle all forms of homelessness. The government is already investing £1.2bn to tackle homelessness, and introduced ambitious new legislation, the Homelessness Reduction Act to ensure people at risk of becoming homeless get help more quickly, with councils receiving funding to support them in these duties.
A moral obligation to support the most vulnerable
Adam Holloway MP will also be appointed as parliamentary private secretary to Robert Jenrick with specific responsibility for rough sleeping.
Boris Johnson, said: “I’ve announced extra funding to help thousands more people get off the streets, and I have appointed Dame Louise Casey as an adviser to undertake an urgent review into the causes of rough sleeping and provide expert advice on vital next steps.”
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick, commented: “I’m determined that we end rough sleeping in this Parliament, meeting our moral obligation to support the most vulnerable in society.
“We will be bringing together housing, addiction, mental health and the criminal justice system as never before to tackle this social ill from every angle. The coordinated effort that we will now pursue, beginning with this review, builds on the progress we have made in recent years, reducing the number of people sleeping on the streets.”
Dame Louise Casey added: “I am pleased to accept this commission from the Prime Minister and the Housing Secretary. Homelessness, and within that rough sleeping, is something that causes misery so I hope that I will be able to help the government and the country expedite action on this issue.”