Government announces £100m homelessness strategy

13 Aug 18

A £100m homelessness strategy to help end rough sleeping in the UK by 2027 has been announced by the government.

The strategy will focus on prevention, intervention and recovery and is aimed at providing up to 6,000 vulnerable people with rapid specialist assessments and support.

To improve prevention, the government will look at the issues that lead to rough sleeping and launch pilots to help those leaving prison find stable accommodation.

Intervention efforts are expected to be helped by the government’s request to the NHS England and Public Health England to give up to £30m over the next five years on health services for people who sleep rough.

The government will aim to improve recovery from rough sleeping by making £50m available to increase the supply of housing outside of London for people who have slept rough.

Prime minister Theresa May said:  “We recognise [rough sleeping] is a complex issue - as well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, we have to deal with underlying problems and ultimately help people turn their lives around.

“The strategy launched today will help us act to prevent rough sleeping before it happens and make sure targeted support is reaching those that need it.”

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “It is simply unacceptable that people have to sleep on our streets and I am determined to make it a thing of the past.

“Whether people are at risk of rough sleeping, already on the streets or in need of settled accommodation, we now have a solid plan to help the most vulnerable in our society.

“And this is not just about putting a roof over their heads but helping them find a place to call home.”

Local Government Association chair Lord Porter said: “Rough sleeping is only the tip of the iceberg- right now, councils are currently housing over 79,000 homeless families and 123,000 children in temporary housing.

“Councils want to end all homelessness by preventing it from happening in the first place.

“This means allowing councils to build more social homes, reviewing welfare reforms and ensuring councils have the certainty, resources and tools they need to bring together services around people at risk of becoming homeless.”

Shelter, the homelessness charity, recently found the number of working families who are homeless have has increased since 2013.

Responses to the government strategy


Polly Neate- chief executive of Shelter the homelessness charity

“This strategy is an important step forward in the fight against the rough sleeping emergency that’s led to people dying on our streets.

“But let’s be clear, this is a step forward and not a total fix for homelessness. 

“We still need to tackle the chronic lack of genuinely affordable homes, deep instability of renting, and problems with housing benefit that are leaving so many without a home.”


Jon Sparkes- the chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis

“This strategy is a positive start, but to truly end rough sleeping the government must build on this progress and commit to ending all forms of homelessness.

“With the right measures in place, the government can do what it takes and make sure that no one has to face homelessness again.”


David Orr- chief executive of the National Housing Federation

“There is much to be valued in this strategy – practical measures and new funding that will really help ease the current situation.

“But if we’re to bring about a lasting end to rough sleeping we need targeted investment in new homes for rough sleepers, a significant increase in homes for social rent overall, and a full assessment of the impact of welfare reform on rough sleeping.”


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