Planning and Housing

10.12.18

Councils must set out rough sleeping strategies by 2019 or face government action, Brokenshire warns

All councils must publish detailed rough sleeping and homelessness strategies by winter 2019 or face government intervention if they fail to do so as part of the government’s new road-map to end rough sleeping by 2027.

James Brokenshire unveiled the action plan along with a much-needed £11m fund opened for councils to bid for to support local people and get them into safe accommodation.

The Rough Sleeping Delivery Plan includes new work coaches for every Jobcentre Plus by summer 2019 to help the homeless navigate the support available, along with a government study into the links between rough sleeping and the LGTB community – which will be published in 2019.

All local authorities will now be expected to publish rough sleeping and homeless strategies by winter next year, setting out how they plan to provide specialist support and accommodation for vulnerable people on the street.

The government warned that it “will take action where councils fail to do so.”

Brokenshire commented: “No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet, despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night.

“That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027. This new action plan sets out the next steps to making this goal a reality.”

He added: “And while we are already seeing progress, I am clear we must go further than ever to achieve our ambition of a country in which no-one needs to sleep rough.”

The plan also sets out in more detail the new Rapid Rehousing Pathway, which aims to put in place structures to prevent and quick respond to rough sleeping in the long term.

Other commitments include ongoing discussions with bodies such as the LGA to ensure Safeguarding Adult Reviews are undertaken when a person sleeping rough is seriously harmed or dies as a result of abuse or neglect, and releasing the findings of a feasibility study on the causes of homelessness.

This builds on the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative launched in March which is providing councils with £30m to over 80 councils over the next two years to support rough sleepers.

The government says this funding will create 1,750 new bed spaces as well as an additional 500 outreach workers, and another £45m of funding was pledged at the launch of the Rough Sleeping Strategy.

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Image credit - Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

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