Sleeping Rough: Weather

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th January 2018.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking reduce the risks faced by people living on the streets during times of sub-zero temperatures.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We expect local authorities to work closely with the voluntary sector to provide basic emergency accommodation to minimise the risk of harm to individuals when the temperature drops, in line with Severe Weather Emergency Protocol guidance. Our new Homelessness Advice and Support Team, drawn from local authorities and the homelessness sector, are providing targeted challenge and support to help local authorities to improve their response to homelessness, which includes their cold weather provision for rough sleepers.

However, no one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why the Government has committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027. We have announced a new Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce, chaired by the Housing Secretary, which will drive forward the implementation of a cross-Government strategy to tackle this issue.

We have allocated over £1 billion through to 2020, following the 2015 Spending Review, to prevent and reduce all forms of homelessness. This includes £28 million announced at Budget to pilot a Housing First approach for rough sleepers with the most complex needs.

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