Homelessness: Death

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that the trend in the level of deaths of homeless people is investigated.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022, before ending it altogether and has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period to April 2020.

In the recent Spending Round we announced £422 million funding for homelessness in 2020/21, an increase of £54 million.

Whilst we recognise that suitable housing is a key part of the solution, health services have a significant role to play, alongside other public services. The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that rough sleepers have the health care they need, when the need it. These commitments include:

  • working with Safeguarding Adult Boards to ensure that Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SAR) happen where appropriate. Lessons learned from these reviews will inform improvements in local systems and services.
  • the DHSC has commissioned King’s College London to conduct a thematic review of the national SAR library on rough sleeping cases. Findings have recently been published and are being disseminated
  • the DHSC has funded the Local Government Association (LGA) to deliver four national events in autumn 2019/20 to look at safeguarding and homelessness.
  • committing £30 million for mental health services from NHS England for rough sleeping over the next five years
  • providing up to £2 million in health funding to test models of community-based provision designed to enable access to health and support services for people who are sleeping rough.

Professor Dame Carol Black has been appointed to carry out a major review of drug misuse. The review, which is building on existing government strategies to combat drugs, serious violence and serious and organised crime, is examining the harms that drugs cause and the best ways to prevent drug-taking.

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