MHCLG names rough sleeping reduction pilot areas

10 May 18

Pilot areas for an “internationally proven approach” to helping rough sleepers with complex needs into stable accommodation have been named by the housing secretary.

James Brokenshire said £28m of government money, already announced, will be ploughed into three ‘housing first’ pilot areas - Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Brokenshire said the pilots will support 1,000 rough sleepers and provide people with “stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support”, in a written statement yesterday.

“There is a growing body of international evidence supporting a ‘housing first’ approach as a way to ending rough sleeping, but to date this has not been rigorously evaluated on a large scale in the UK.” 

The ‘housing first’ method means rather than going through stages to gain a permanent home, rough sleepers are moved into their own affordable accommodation as soon as possible. 

The scheme has already been adopted across the US and in Canada, Denmark, Finland and France.  

The MHCLG said it was an “internationally-proven approach to supporting rough sleepers into long-term accommodation”.

Funding for the government’s ‘housing first’ projects was announced in the autumn Budget.

Brokenshire added: “Piloting ‘housing first’ gives effect to a manifesto commitment and is an important element of the government’s effort to end rough sleeping by 2027.

“It will build on the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, and the new rough sleeping initiative my predecessor announced on 30 March.” 

Of the £28m, £8m will go to Greater Manchester, £7.7m to Liverpool City Region and £9.6m to the West Midlands. The remaining £2.7m will be used to evaluate the pilots.

Polly Neate, chief executive of homeless charity Shelter, said: "With rough sleeping at it's highest in a decade this action to help people off the streets and into a safe, secure and affordable homes has never been needed more.

"Housing first offers a unique opportunity to tackle rough sleeping by moving people on the streets into a permanent home with the support to help them keep it.” 

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