Government announces £150m to provide homes for rough sleepers

The funding is to be made available across England to provide a permanent place to live for some of the most vulnerable in society.

More than 3,300 new long-term homes for rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been approved, the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has announced today (29 October 2020).

The new homes will be made available in every region of England and will enable people who sleep rough, or who are at risk of sleeping rough, to be rehoused in secure, long-term accommodation, providing some of the most vulnerable in society with a permanent place to live and help to rebuild their lives.

Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping said “The efforts to protect rough sleepers throughout the pandemic have been truly outstanding, and I want to wholeheartedly thank all the charities, councils, housing providers and support groups who have made this possible.”

The announcement has already drawn criticism by some in the sector, however, with many urging government to remove the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition.

Responding to the news, Cllr David Renard, Housing Spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), said temporarily removing the condition would “reduce public health risks and ease the pressure on homelessness services by enabling vulnerable people to access welfare benefits, who are currently unable to do so because of their immigration status.”

He added: “Councils also want to see a government shift towards investing in measures needed to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.

“This includes giving councils the powers to build the desperately-needed new generation of social housing the country needs and restoring local welfare funding so councils can provide preventative support to all households who need it.”

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