Homelessness

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th September 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason the Government's policy is to support step programmes to tackle homelessness; and what comparative assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of such step programmes and Housing First.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government has committed over £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in England this year, including over £202 million for the 2021/2022 Rough Sleeping Initiative. Local authorities use this funding to deliver their homelessness strategies, and the funding supports a wide range of interventions to support people at risk of rough sleeping, including Housing First, other housing-led solutions, emergency accommodation, outreach and floating support.

Housing First is a model in which rough sleepers with the most complex needs are provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support to help them recover from complex issues and sustain their tenancies. Government awarded £28 million to pilot Housing First in three areas, including up to £2.7 million for a comprehensive external evaluation of the pilots.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI), initially launched in March 2018, seeks to reduce the levels of rough sleeping by working with local authorities to provide specialist services, tailored to local circumstances, to help vulnerable people off the streets. An impact evaluation reported a 32% reduction in rough sleeping in areas that received RSI funding in 2018/19, compared to estimated rates had RSI funding not been in place.

The needs of people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness or rough sleeping vary, and it is right that central and local government support a range of interventions that recognise and meet the differing needs of individuals.

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