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10.06.14

Government boosts funding to tackle homelessness

A new funding pot of £65m from across Whitehall is being offered to local authorities to tackle homelessness. 

The funding is being invested across five programmes. Launched today, there is the Help for Single Homeless Fund, which aims to improve services for single people facing the prospect of homelessness. 

The prospectus for the fund invites groups of local authorities to bid for up to £250,000 over (2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016) to help prevent single homelessness. Up to £8m is available over two years (up to £3m in 2014 to 2015 and up to £5m in 2015 to 2016). There will be one bidding round, and the deadline for submitting bids is 5pm 8 August 2014.

 

Secondly is the £15m Fair Chance Fund  (launched in February) 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. 

The DCLG says that grant applications may range in size from a minimum £500,000 to a maximum £3m, and it anticipates awarding between five and fifteen grants, with a total value of up to £15m over the life of the fund. Applications, though, will also need to demonstrate clear local authority commitment to a robust referral process which can be established and running by January 2015. Full bids will need to have full local authority support in each of the areas they want to work. 

Thirdly, a total of £41.5m 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 

Fourthly, more than £580,000 will be used 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. 

This is all in addition to the £470m of funding that the government has maintained since 2010 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness and the No Second Night Out scheme, which it claims 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.” 

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