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Government funds councils to tackle homelessness

Homeless / iStock-539478350

Homelessness minister Heather Wheeler has announced that councils across the country are set to receive a share of over £215 million from 2019 to prevent homelessness.

This will include a £15 million fund for London councils to support their work together to reduce and prevent homelessness.

This latest funding from the government’s Flexible Homelessness Support Grant programme brings the total government investment to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping to over £1.2 billion through to 2020.

Wheeler said: “This government is determined to help the most vulnerable in our society and to break the homelessness cycle once and for all. That why we’re investing over £1.2 billion in tackling the issue and bringing in the most ambitious legislation in decades that will mean people get the support they need earlier.”

She added: “This latest funding gives councils the freedom to invest in homelessness services that work in their area, including support to prevent someone becoming homeless in the first place.”

The Homelessness Reduction Act, which comes into force next month, is to "significantly" reform England’s legislation and ensure that more people get the help they need when faced with homelessness.

It forms part of the government’s approach to giving early support to those at risk of losing their homes through the following measures.

  • A new cross-government Homelessness Reduction Taskforce supported by a panel of experts that will drive forward a new strategy to reduce homelessness with an initial focus on rough sleeping.
  • £28 million funding for three ‘Housing First’ pilots in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands to support long-term rough sleepers off the streets.
  • Investing £9 billion to build more affordable housing, including council homes.
  • Supporting housing benefit and universal credit claimants living in areas where private rents have been rising fastest.

Image credit / istock