- Rough sleepers across Leicester to have access to new, safe, long-term homes, along with support, backed by more than £150 million.
- First 3,300 of 6,000 planned new homes for rough sleepers to be delivered by March 2021.
- Conservative Government investing more than £700 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping this year as part of manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping.
Over the years, I have visited several charities and other organistions that help the homeless. I was shocked to learn how dangerous a life rough sleeping can be. Life expectancy on the streets is terrifyingly short. Drink and drugs can take a toll, but they also make rough sleepers vulnerable to hypothermia, road accidents and other dangers. Not all rough sleepers are substance abusers, but even for those determined to improve their situation, rough sleeping presents many hurdles. These range from the basic inability to wash in preparation for a job interview, through to all the problems that the lack of a permanent address can cause when dealing with official organisations. And it is heartbreaking how many veterans of our armed forces end up on the streets.
That is why it is such fantastic news that our great city is to receive nearly £3.1 million from the Conservative Government to provide funding for new, long-term homes for rough sleepers and other vulnerable people. In total, projects across England will receive more than £150 million to deliver more than 3,300 such secure homes by the end of March 2021, providing long term accommodation to vulnerable people to keep them safe from coronavirus and rebuild their lives.
Leicester City will receive £3,072,574 for local schemes that provide secure ‘move on’ style accommodation for people at risk of sleeping on the streets and is an important step towards achieving the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024, alongside investment in new homes for social rent.
This is part of the Government’s investment of £433 million to deliver 6,000 new homes for rough sleepers by the end of this Parliament and builds on the widely praised ‘Everyone In’ campaign launched at the start of the pandemic which has helped support over 29,000 vulnerable people – enabling councils to keep rough sleepers safe this winter.
In total, 276 schemes have been approved across England, which will deliver 904 new homes for rough sleepers in London and 2,430 elsewhere across the country. This sits alongside the £91.5 million in grant funding given to councils to support vulnerable people and provide short term accommodation over the coming months, and a £10 million Cold Weather Fund to support winter shelters and ensure they are Covid-secure.
This Conservative Government, working closely with local authorities, has shown throughout the pandemic that it is willing to take the swift, decisive action necessary to keep some of the most vulnerable people in our community safe. On behalf of everyone I’d like to thank all those involved for everything they’ve done to get people off our streets and into secure, safe accommodation.
The ‘Everyone In’ campaign has protected thousands of lives. If we are to deliver on the promise we made in our manifesto to end rough sleeping by the end of the Parliament, then the people who have been helped need to be able to access long-term housing that gives them the safety and security they need to rebuild their lives, which is exactly what the funding announced today will do.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told me :“Our Everyone In plan is widely considered the most effective action taken by any country in the world to protect those sleeping rough from the pandemic. And that work hasn’t stopped - 29,000 rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been supported into safe accommodation since the start of COVID-19. The next step in our mission is to ensure they have a more settled home. Which is why we are providing over £150 million, as part of the biggest ever investment in homes for the homeless, to deliver over 3,000 new long-term homes across England, giving them the stability and security they need to start to rebuild their lives.”
Photo : By Allan warren - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45216254