Action plan to combat rough sleeping revealed

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has unveiled the government’s plans to help people off the streets and meet its target to end rough sleeping for good by 2027.

The Rough Sleeping Delivery Plan establishes how important measures contained in the recent Rough Sleeping Strategy will be delivered – including targets and tough deadlines for all 61 commitments. Amongst the pledges are plans for an expectation placed on all councils to publish detailed rough sleeping and homeless strategies by winter 2019, and New Work Coaches for every single Jobcentre Plus by summer 2019 – helping the homeless to navigate the support available to them.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has also launched an £11 million fund for councils to get as many people as possible off the streets and into secure accommodation where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives. It is hoped that the investment will create 1,750 new bed spaces, as well as an additional 500 outreach workers many of whom who are already working tirelessly to support people off the streets and into recovery.

Brokenshire said: “No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet, despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night. That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027. This new action plan sets out the next steps to making this goal a reality. And while we are already seeing progress, I am clear we must go further than ever to achieve our ambition of a country in which no-one needs to sleep rough.”

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman, said: “Any extra investment will help local efforts to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. Councils are determined to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping from happening in the first place and support families affected. This is becoming increasingly difficult with homelessness services facing a funding gap of more than £100 million in 2019/20.

“Proper resourcing of local government funding is essential if we are going to end rising homelessness. Councils also need to keep 100 per cent of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuine affordable home they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms to prevent people from losing their home where possible.”