Sleeping Rough

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress the pilots of Housing First approaches to reducing rough sleeping have made; and how many people have been helped by those pilots.

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

In May 2018 we allocated £28 million to pilot Housing First at scale in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and West Midlands Combined Authorities. Since then our expert Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) advisers have been working closely with each of the three pilot regions to monitor and support progress. The pilots are still at an early stage; however, people have been housed in both the West Midlands and, more recently, in the Greater Manchester pilot. We expect Liverpool to follow suit shortly and we are looking forward to seeing increasing numbers of very complex and vulnerable people moving into safe and secure homes as the pilot progresses.

The pilots will support around 1000 rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping with the most complex needs to help them to end their homelessness. Individuals will be provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support. This will help them to recover from complex issues, such as substance abuse and mental health difficulties, and sustain their tenancies.

An extensive and robust evaluation of Housing First headed up by our independent contractors, ICF is underway and will ensure that all learning from these pilots will be used to inform decisions on roll-out.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last 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.

In its first year, our Rough Sleeping Initiative provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff. This year we have expanded the RSI with investment of £46 million for 246 areas – providing funding for an estimated 2,600 bed spaces and 750 staff.

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