£40 million for homelessness prevention

A new £40 million programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness, with prevention at its heart, has been announced.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced the funding to tackle the underlying issues which can lead to somebody losing their home.

The strategy builds on the government’s commitment to preventing homelessness, which includes: increasing central funding to tackle homelessness over the next four years to £139 million; protecting homelessness prevention funding for local authorities at £315 million by 2019 to 2020; providing £100 million for at least 2,000 low cost accommodation places, for rough sleepers leaving hostel accommodation and domestic abuse victims and their families moving on from refuges.

The funding, split into a new £10 million rough sleeping prevention fund, a £10 million Social Impact Bond programme and a £20 million kitty for local authorities to trial new initiatives.

Through the £10 million Rough Sleeping Grant Funding, the Department for Communities and Local Government will help those new to the streets, or at imminent risk of sleeping rough, by building on the No First Night Out pilot being delivered in the tri-borough of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and City of London. More rapid crisis interventions and support to access and sustain move-on accommodation will also build on the No Second Night Out approach through our Homelessness Transition Fund.

The funding for Social Impact Bonds will see local authorities able to bid for an allocation of the funding to use to commission a Social Impact Bond within a geographic area - targeting accommodation, employment, education, mental health and substance misuse. Support will be provided for an anticipated 1,500 to 2,000 individuals.

Local authorities will also be invited to bid either singularly, or in collaboration for funding from the £20 million Trailblazers Fund, which will give local authorities the resources to ramp up prevention and take new approaches to reduce homelessness. This includes: collaborating with other services to identify at-risk households, and target interventions well before they are threatened with eviction; helping people earlier than the statutory 28 days when they are threatened with the loss of their home; offering that help to a wider group of people than just those owed the main homelessness duty; and testing new, innovative approaches to preventing homelessness to help build evidence based on what works and test the effects of these approaches in different areas.

Javid said: “One person without a home is one too many, which is why we are launching this new £40 million programme to tackle homelessness and prevent it happening in the first place.

“It will fund different projects around the country, preventing people from losing their home in the first place and helping to ensure that rough sleepers have somewhere safe to stay.”