Government expanding support to beat homelessness

Government departments have united to expand support for vulnerable people, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins and Communities Minister Stephen Williams said today (10 June 2014).

Over £65 million of funding from across Whitehall is being offered to councils and other organisations to tackle homelessness around the country.

This government has increased spending on preventing homelessness and as a result homeless acceptances are lower than in 27 of the last 30 years.

Mr Hopkins said simply providing accommodation is not enough to prevent homelessness, and it is vital that vulnerable people can access a range of support and lead independent lives.

The funding will be invested across 5 programmes:
•an £8 million Help for Single Homeless Fund that will improve council services for single people facing the prospect of homelessness
•the £15 million Fair Chance Fund, an innovative “payments by results” scheme, that will provide accommodation, education, training and employment opportunities for around 2,000 of our most vulnerable young homeless people
•a total of £41.5 million will be shared between Homelessness Change and Platform for Life • Homelessness Change     funding to provide tailored temporary hostel accommodation for rough sleepers to get them off the streets and transform their lives through health, training and education facilities
•Platform for Life funding to provide shared accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness so they have a stable platform for work and study

•more than £580,000 to extend the Homelessness Gold Standard     scheme, which helps councils to improve frontline housing services for homeless families and single people

This is in addition to the £470 million of funding that the government has maintained since 2010 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness and the No Second Night Out     scheme, which has helped thousands of people off the streets since its launch in 2011 and aims to ensure no-one spends a second night sleeping rough.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:

“People at risk of homelessness need more than just a roof over their head. They also need help with their education, employment and health so they have the right skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.

“That’s why this government has increased spending on preventing homelessness and why we’ve worked hard to ensure that homelessness acceptances are now lower than in 27 of the last 30 years.

“Additionally we are giving £65 million to help councils and charities provide tailored support to homeless people, so they can find stable accommodation and live independent and fulfilling lives.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams:

“This government is determined to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and give them the help they need to get their lives back on track.

“Whether through accommodation, education or employment, this package of support will provide homeless people with a fair chance to make a fresh start and succeed in life.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

“It is imperative we continue to work collaboratively to help eradicate rough sleeping and reach out to people who need our help. Alongside our existing programmes, including my new No First Night Out scheme, City Hall will be allocating the Homelessness Change and Platform for Life funding across London, delivering the accommodation and support that’s critical to prevent and tackle rough sleeping. The Mayor’s No First Night Out pilot will also make additional funding available for London boroughs’ work to prevent rough sleeping, complementing the government’s Help for Single Homeless fund.”

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