New panel to help eradicate rough sleeping

Leading experts from homelessness charities and local government have met for the first time as part of the government’s new rough sleeping advisory panel.

Chaired by Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler, the new panel, made up of experts, charities and local government, will draw on their considerable experience and individual successes to support the upcoming Ministerial Taskforce. This will bring together ministers from key departments to provide a cross-government approach to preventing rough sleeping and homelessness.

Going forward, the panel will examine prevention activity to stop people from rough sleeping in the first place, as well as programmes and interventions to target both the drivers of rough sleeping and support vulnerable people at risk of rough sleeping.

Wheeler said: “We cannot accept rough sleeping as a stubborn problem that will always be with us. That’s why we are providing over £1 billion of funding, supporting those who are homeless and rough sleeping and bringing in the most ambitious legislation in decades that will mean people get the support they need earlier.

“Tackling homelessness is complex, but no one should ever have to sleep rough. The new panel is clear we need to act swiftly to realise our shared determination to help the most vulnerable in society and eliminate rough sleeping for good.”

As part of the £1 billion of funding, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is providing £315 million to local authorities for their work on homelessness, and an additional £402 million in Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding, which local authorities can use to work more strategically to prevent and tackle homelessness pressures in their areas.

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