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New analysis shows that the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative is having a significant impact on reducing the numbers of vulnerable people sleeping rough on the country’s streets. It has provided £76 million to 246 councils across the country to date, supporting rough sleepers in their area off the streets and into secure accommodation where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.
The report shows that the Rough Sleeping Initiative has reduced the number of vulnerable people sleeping rough by 32%, compared to the number it would have been had the initiative not been in place.
The analysis estimates the impact of the initiative from its launch in March 2018 until autumn that year and takes account of a range of factors, including whether councils submitted estimates or counts in the official annual rough sleeping statistics, the weather on the night the data was collected, and local housing and labour market conditions, to zero in on the effects of the initiative.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Since becoming Communities Secretary in July, I have been able to see first-hand the outstanding work taking place under the Rough Sleeping Initiative every single day to transform the lives of society’s most vulnerable – and these figures are proof that our strategy to end rough sleeping is working.
“But we must keep that momentum up, which is why we have committed a record investment to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in the months ahead – ensuring progress continues to be made and people are given the help they need to turn their lives around.”
Today’s figures come just days after the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £422 million of funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping – up £54 million from £368 million in 2019 to 2020.
The Communities Secretary and the Chancellor have also announced a further £10 million to boost life-saving support for rough sleepers during the cold winter weather and has called on councils to come forward and bid for the funding now in order to step-up preparations in time for the winter months.
Last year, funding provided by government during the coldest weather meant thousands of vulnerable rough sleepers spent the night in safe and warm accommodation, rather than on the streets.
In August last year, the government unveiled its Rough Sleeping Strategy – backed by £100 million – which sets out the next steps towards ending rough sleeping for good.
This forms part of a wider strategy to tackle all forms of homelessness, including:
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