New initiative to reduce rough sleeping

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed new government plans to significantly reduce the number of people sleeping rough, aiming to completely rid homelessness by 2027.

Ahead of the Homelessness Reduction Act, which comes into force next week (10 April), the cross-government plan is expected to have a rapid impact on rough sleeping now and represents major progress towards the government’s commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022.

Javid announced that a new Rough Sleeping Team will be created, made up of rough sleeping and homelessness experts, as well as a £100,000 fund to support frontline rough sleeping workers across the country to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to work with vulnerable rough sleepers.

Furthermore, a £30 million fund for 2018 to 2019, with further funding agreed for 2019 to 2020, has been made available, targeting local authorities with high numbers of people sleeping rough.

Javid said: “This winter has tragically claimed the lives of a number of people sleeping on the streets. This is completely unacceptable in modern Britain. No one should ever have to sleep rough and this government is determined to break the homelessness cycle once and for all. Tackling the causes of rough sleeping is undoubtedly complex but we must do all we can - working across central and local government, the voluntary and charity sector - to help the most vulnerable in society and eliminate rough sleeping for good.”

This package of new measures will be supported by the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.