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Plan to end rough sleeping in England by 2027

£100m “to help people turn their lives around”. The Rough Sleeping Strategy will focus on


preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place by offering a range of support and then providing them with the right help to find work and live independently. It plans to assist upto 6,000 vulnerable people with rapid specialist assessments and support. Longer term, those sleeping rough will be rapidly

housed and offered comprehensive support to ensure their specific needs are addressed so that they can move into suitable permanent accommodation at the earliest opportunity. In launching the new strategy 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. They need and deserve our support and, through our expert-backed strategy, I am confident they will get it,” he added. The strategy sets out a three-pronged approach:

• Prevention – understanding the issues that lead to rough sleeping and providing timely support for those at risk;

• Intervention – helping those already sleeping rough with swift support tailored to their individual circumstances;

• Recovery – supporting people in finding a new home and rebuilding their lives.

The new strategy received a warm reception from

campaigners and specialist providers of support, but there were also doubts raised about how much of


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he Government has promised to end rough sleeping on England's streets by 2027, as it launched a new strategy backed up with

the promised resources was actually new money and how much had been recycled from other parts of the Government’s budget. Polly Neate, chief executive of charity Shelter,

said: "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."

NOT A COMPLETE FIX Seven homelessness charities - Crisis, Homeless Link, National Housing Federation, Shelter, St Basils, St Mungo's and Thames Reach - who advised Ministers on the strategy said in a joint statement that it was "a significant step towards the Government's goal of ending rough sleeping by 2027". However, they added that Ministers "must also

set out bold, cross-departmental plans to tackle the root causes of all forms of homelessness and prevent it from happening in the first place". Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey

described the strategy as "a feeble plan that lacks any urgency to tackle the crisis of rising rough sleeping". He added that the next Labour government would end rough sleeping within its first term by making 8,000 homes available to those with a history of sleeping on the streets. Rough sleeping has been increasing for the past

seven years and, according to the latest official annual count, last autumn, 4,751 people were on the streets in England, a rise of 15 per cent on the year before. Critics say numbers have risen because of welfare and spending cuts and a failure to build enough new homes. Of the money announced alongside the new

strategy about £30m will be spent on mental health help and treatment for substance misuse as part of the proposals, which were developed in conjunction with charities and experts. In addition, the Government will put about £50m towards homes outside London for those who are

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8 | HMM September 2018 |

Rough sleeping has been increasing for the past seven years and, according to the latest official annual count, last autumn, 4,751 people were on the streets in England

ready to move on from hostels or refuges. Rough sleepers will also be helped to access services and accommodation by a network of specialist "navigators". A further £17m will also be made available to

fund about 15 pilots scheme aimed at trying to ensure that rough sleepers do not spend a second night sleeping on the streets, as part of a scheme called Somewhere Safe to Stay. Ministers are also expected to review legislation

on homelessness and rough sleeping, including the Vagrancy Act - which currently makes it illegal to sleep rough or beg in England and Wales.

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