Government departments have united to expand support for vulnerable people, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins and Communities Minister Stephen Williams said today (10 June 2014).
Over £65 million of funding from across Whitehall is being offered to councils and other organisations to tackle homelessness around the country.
This government has increased spending on preventing homelessness and as a result homeless acceptances are lower than in 27 of the last 30 years.
Mr Hopkins said simply providing accommodation is not enough to prevent homelessness, and it is vital that vulnerable people can access a range of support and lead independent lives.
The funding will be invested across 5 programmes:
- an £8 million Help for Single Homeless Fund that will improve council services for single people facing the prospect of homelessness
- the £15 million Fair Chance Fund, an innovative “payments by results” scheme, that will provide accommodation, education, training and employment opportunities for around 2,000 of our most vulnerable young homeless people
- a total of £41.5 million will be shared between Homelessness Change and Platform for Life
Homelessness Change funding to provide tailored temporary hostel accommodation for rough sleepers to get them off the streets and transform their lives through health, training and education facilities
- Platform for Life funding to provide shared accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness so they have a stable platform for work and study
- more than £580,000 to extend the Homelessness Gold Standard scheme, which helps councils to improve frontline housing services for homeless families and single people
This is in addition to the £470 million of funding that the government has maintained since 2010 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness and the No Second Night Out scheme, which has helped thousands of people off the streets since its launch in 2011 and aims to ensure no-one spends a second night sleeping rough.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
People at risk of homelessness need more than just a roof over their head. They also need help with their education, employment and health so they have the right skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.
That’s why this government has increased spending on preventing homelessness and why we’ve worked hard to ensure that homelessness acceptances are now lower than in 27 of the last 30 years.
Additionally we are giving £65 million to help councils and charities provide tailored support to homeless people, so they can find stable accommodation and live independent and fulfilling lives.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams:
This government is determined to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and give them the help they need to get their lives back on track.
Whether through accommodation, education or employment, this package of support will provide homeless people with a fair chance to make a fresh start and succeed in life.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
It is imperative we continue to work collaboratively to help eradicate rough sleeping and reach out to people who need our help. Alongside our existing programmes, including my new No First Night Out scheme, City Hall will be allocating the Homelessness Change and Platform for Life funding across London, delivering the accommodation and support that’s critical to prevent and tackle rough sleeping. The Mayor’s No First Night Out pilot will also make additional funding available for London boroughs’ work to prevent rough sleeping, complementing the government’s Help for Single Homeless fund.
The Fair Chance Fund
The £15 million fund is jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Cabinet Office.
The “payment by results” scheme will support vulnerable people between the ages of 18 and 24 into housing, education and work and will attract social investment into this area through Social Impact Bonds.
Specialist organisations, including those from the voluntary sector, will run innovative projects to give these young people the best possible opportunities for sustainable accommodation, employment, education or training over 3 years.
The support will help the group to turn their lives around and generate significant savings for the taxpayer.
74 organisations that submitted successful expressions of interest will now be able to submit a full bid for funding, by 1 September, using the prospectus published on 4 June 2014.
Help for Single Homeless Fund
The £8 million fund will cover this and next year, and help groups of councils improve services for single homeless people.
This could involve working with local partners including health and probation services to prevent personal problems such as addiction, debt or poor health from escalating into homelessness.
A prospectus published today (10 June 2014) will help councils, in groups of 3 or more, prepare their bids for up to £250,000. Bids must be submitted by 8 August 2014.
Homelessness Change funding and Platform for Life
A total of £40 million from the Department of Health and £1.5 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government will be shared between Homelessness Change funding and Platform for Life.
Homelessness Change funding will provide tailored hostel accommodation to improve the physical and mental health outcomes for rough sleepers and support them towards independent living. This extends the existing programme but with an additional focus on refurbishing existing hostels to support health improvement and reduce the demand on health services.
Platform for Life is a brand new programme of shared accommodation for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and is linked to participation in work, education or training. The accommodation is intended to provide a stable base for young people who are prevented from holding down a job or a college place by their homelessness or insecure accommodation. We want people to learn to live with others, budget, and establish the habit of work or study to allow them to move on to full independence and healthy life.
These programmes will be delivered by the Homes and Communities Agency and the Greater London Authority. A bidding prospectus will be published in summer 2014, and the fund will run from 2014 to 2016.
Homelessness Gold Standard
£582,128 will extend the Homelessness Gold Standard scheme into 2014 to 2015. The council-led support scheme helps councils improve their frontline housing services for families and single homeless people. It is run by the National Practitioner Support Service, a team of council staff seconded to Winchester Council. They provide training and other support to councils - 97% of councils have already engaged with the scheme.