Thousands of vulnerable people who were housed during the pandemic will be helped to stay in accommodation this year as a result of the allocations of funding recently announced. 274 local councils will share £91.5 million of government funding to ensure interim accommodation and support for the most vulnerable people. An additional £13.5 million fund will be used to enable local authorities to tackle new or emerging challenges and applications are also now being considered for a further £161 million fund intended to provide over 3,300 additional supported homes this year for those sleeping rough or currently housed in emergency accommodation.
Central Devon MP Mel Stride said:
“The action taken to support rough sleepers during the coronavirus pandemic saw almost 15,000 people who were sleeping rough or at risk of becoming homeless provided with emergency accommodation. Many of these people have since begun to turn their lives around and the Government must not let this progress slip through their fingers. This new funding is a very welcome and will provide the long-term support that is needed to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Government figures published earlier this year estimated that 4,266 people in England are sleeping rough on a 'typical' night and data from councils suggests around 25,000 people are sleeping rough at least once a year. Mr Stride has previously spoken out about the impact of prison releases on rough sleeping after spending time with prisoners during a rehabilitation programme at HMP Channing's Wood.