Homelessness

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what powers his Department has devolved to the Mayor of London to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Greater London Authority (GLA) Act sets out the Mayor of London’s powers in relation to housing and planning which can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/24/contents (section 6 and 7).

The Act determines that the Mayor must prepare and publish a London Housing Strategy, which outlines plans for tackling rough sleeping and homelessness in the capital. This can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2018_lhs_london_housing_strategy.pdf

We are currently funding the GLA to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the capital in a number of ways including:

  • £3.3 million as part of the Rough Sleeping Initiative funding with an additional £3 million provisionally allocated for 2019-20.
  • £3.3 million of Rough Sleeping Grant funding including a mental health initiative, the Safe Connections project and the London Cross-Borough Accommodation Network.
  • £50 million of funding to provide accommodation for homeless individuals and families as an alternative to hostel accommodation through the Move on Fund.

In addition to this, at Spring Statement 2018, the Chancellor announced that we will be providing London with an additional £1.67 billion from the Affordable Homes Programme to support the Mayor to build a further 26,000 affordable homes – two-thirds will be homes for rent.

This has increased our investment in London to over £4.8 billion for at least 116,000 affordable homes by March 2022.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough and that is why this summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

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