£30m fund aimed at helping the homeless
EXPERT ‘rough sleeping teams’ could be drafted into Manchester under a national gov- ernment drive to tackle homelessness.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed details of a £30m campaign as the Home- lessness Reduction Act comes into force in early April.
Local authority areas with high numbers of people sleeping rough, like Manchester, would be targeted and funding will be made available to town halls.
The government said the teams would be made up of rough sleeping and homelessness experts drawn from, and funded by, government departments and agencies with expert knowledge across areas including housing, mental health and addiction.
They would work with councils to ‘develop tailored local interventions’ to reduce the numbers of people sleeping on the streets, Mr Javid said. The £30m fund will run until 2019, but the government said more funding to 2020 has been agreed.
The Easter announcement will complement work already underway to tackle the growing problem in Greater Manchester
Manchester council is due to plough more than £3m extra into its homelessness service from next month, with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s homelessness fund supporting frontline projects. The government has committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ‘eliminating’ it altogether by 2027.
Figures released in January revealed rough sleeping in Manchester had rocketed 13-fold since 2010.
At the same time, the numbers of people on the brink of homelessness – including those needing temporary accommodation – have also shot up.
The announcement also detailed £100,000 of funding to support and train ‘frontline rough sleeping workers’ across the country dealing with the most vulnerable rough sleepers.
The Communities Secretary said: “This winter has tragically claimed the lives of a number of people sleeping on the streets. This is completely unacceptable in modern Brit- ain. .No one should ever have to sleep rough and this government is determined to break the homelessness cycle once and for all.
“Tackling the causes of rough sleeping is complex but we must do all we can - working across central and local government, the voluntary and charity sector - to help the most vulnerable in society and eliminate rough sleeping.”
The Homelessness Reduction Act places new duties on councils to prevent and relieve homelessness.
Homeless in the city centre during recent freezing conditions