New £30m government initiative to reduce rough sleeping

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today set out a bold cross-government plan of action to significantly reduce the number of people sleeping rough as the Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force next week.

Based on proven activity that has helped deliver substantial decreases before, this further action will have a rapid impact on rough sleeping now and represents major progress towards the government’s commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027.

The new package of measures – which builds on government action to date – includes:

  • A new Rough Sleeping Team made up of rough sleeping and homelessness experts, drawn from, and funded by government departments and agencies with specialist knowledge across a wide range of areas from housing, mental health to addiction.
  • A £30 million fund for 2018 to 2019 with further funding agreed for 2019 to 2020 targeted at local authorities with high numbers of people sleeping rough; the Rough Sleeping Team will work with these areas to support them to develop tailored local interventions to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets.
  • £100,000 funding to support frontline Rough Sleeping workers across the country to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to work with vulnerable rough sleepers.

In addition, the government is also working with the National Housing Federation to look at providing additional, coordinated move-on accommodation for rough sleepers across the country.

The Homelessness Reduction Act is the most ambitious legal reform in decades and places new duties on councils to prevent and relieve homelessness, including for single homeless people who are at greater risk of sleeping rough.

The new package of measures announced today provides cross-government support and funding for local housing authorities to drive a significant reduction in rough sleeping.

Departments across government are working to support the Act and make sure there is sustained progress on the commitment to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it all together by 2027.

The Homelessness Reduction Act comes into effect on 3 April 2018.