To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department provides to the Housing First in England project; and what steps he is taking to ensure that homeless people are not returned to the streets after the lockdown restrictions are lifted after the covid-19 outbreak.
Housing First has an impressive international record in helping people with complex needs to recover and stay off the streets for good, which is why we awarded £28 million to pilot it in three urban areas with contrasting challenges (the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region). The pilot aims to support around 1,000 of our most vulnerable people off the streets and into safe and secure homes.
Each individual has access to critical wrap-around support including mental health, drugs and alcohol misuse support. Since its launch, our expert advisers have been working closely with each of the three pilot regions to closely monitor and support progress.
In response to Covid-19 we have established a Taskforce to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic. The Taskforce is spearheaded by Dame Louise Casey and supported by expert advisers with extensive experience in supporting the most vulnerable in society. The Taskforce is already working closely with local authorities and agencies from across the homelessness sector, businesses, faith groups, local communities and charities, as well as across central government.
On 24 May, we announced radical plans to provide thousands of long-term, safe homes for vulnerable rough sleepers taken off the streets during this pandemic. This ambitious commitment will be backed by £160 million in 2020/21, to inject 3,300 new units of accommodation this year, part of 6,000 in total.