Rough Sleeping Initiative

28th January 2020

Alok Sharma, the local Member of Parliament for Reading West, has welcomed the announcement from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, of a £112 million allocation for a third year of Rough Sleeping Initiative and Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative fund provides support for rough sleepers and those vulnerable to sleeping rough in 270 local authorities across England, including Reading Borough Council and West Berkshire Council. This funding marks an uplift of £26 million on last year’s Rough Sleeping Initiative and Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative was first implemented by the Government in March 2018 to tackle rough sleeping across the country. The Rough Sleeping Initiative Team, composed of expert Advisers with experience in areas including mental health, specialist housing, substance abuse and criminal justice, works closely with local authorities to implement plans to end rough sleeping.

As the initiative grows, figures consistently demonstrate that the Rough Sleeping Initiative continues to have a powerful impact on the number of people sleeping rough. An analysis of the initiative published in September 2019 revealed that it had driven the first reduction in rough sleeping in almost a decade. The evaluation showed a 32% net reduction in the number of rough sleepers compared to what the level would have been without the initiative in place. That is why the Government has committed a further £112 million to propel even more positive outcomes in 2020/2021.

To further develop the Rough Sleeping Initiative, the Government launched the Rapid Rehousing Pathway which builds on the existing initiative. In particular, it funds Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs, specialist Navigators who act as a single point of contact to support people from the streets into settled accommodation, establishes Local Lettings Agencies and funds Supported Lettings initiatives which provide flexible support to help individuals sustain their tenancies.

The Government plans to combine the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Rapid Rehousing Pathway to form one consolidated funding pot for 2020/21, to simplify the process for local authorities.

As part of the funding boost, Reading Borough Council will receive an additional £647,099 while West Berkshire Council has been allocated £475,009 for the period 2020/2021.

Alok Sharma MP said: “I am delighted that both local authorities in my constituency will benefit from further funding to help tackle rough sleeping and drive down the risk of homelessness. The Government is taking the necessary steps to markedly reduce levels of rough sleeping at pace.”

The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “With the funding I have announced today, local areas will be able to enhance services that connect people with the right support and sustainable housing to move them swiftly away from the street and facilitate their recovery. This important work is part of delivering on the commitment made in the government manifesto to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.”


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