Ministers yesterday gave the green light to the cash injection from the Government, up by £47million in support for authorities to address the problem over the last 12 months. They plan to target the support at local authority areas with high levels of homelessness or people living in temporary accommodation.announced. Councils will be able to use the funds to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions or to provide temporary accommodation for individuals and families at risk of homelessness.
The spending follows the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ campaign to house rough sleepers during the coronavirus pandemic.
By September, the campaign had supported over 29,000 vulnerable people, with two-thirds now moved into settled accommodation.
Ministers are also seeking to ensure there is no bailiff enforcement action over the Christmas period apart from in the most serious cases.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we look back on an incredibly challenging year, everyone who has helped protect rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness during this pandemic should be proud of the role they have played in our internationally recognised response.
“Today I am announcing £310 million to help councils protect those at risk of homelessness in the year ahead. We have a moral duty to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society rebuild their lives and look forward to a brighter future, and this funding will help us to realise that ambition.”
Kelly Tolhurst, the Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping, said: “All of the charities, councils, housing providers and support groups have truly gone the extra mile this year to protect the most vulnerable in our society throughout the pandemic and I want to wholeheartedly thank all of those who have made this possible.
“This new funding will play a vital role in helping councils provide better support to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place as we look to end rough sleeping once and for all.”
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 ensures people at risk of becoming homeless get help more quickly, with councils receiving funding to support them in these duties.
Since the legislation came into force, over 270,000 individuals and families have been supported against the risk of becoming homeless.
In total, the Government has spent £700million on homelessness and rough sleeping this year.
This total included the £15 million ‘Protect Programme’ scheme for councils which required extra support during the national restrictions and throughout winter to provide accommodation for rough sleepers.
Ministers allocated £91.5 million to 274 councils in September to fund immediate support and interim accommodation for vulnerable people, as well as the £10 million Cold Weather Fund for councils to help to keep rough sleepers safe this winter.