The Government is committed to ending rough sleeping in this Parliament and to fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act. That is why we will be spending more than £750 million in 2021/22 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The Government has this week announced the allocation of a key element of this overall investment: £310 million in funding through the Homelessness Prevention Grant that will be made available to local authorities in 2021/22 to support them in delivering services to prevent and tackle homelessness.
Reading Borough Council is set to receive £1,534,598 in funding as part of the Homelessness Prevention Grant. West Berkshire Council will be awarded a total of £262,534. All local authorities will receive an increase in funding compared to the grant funding for their homelessness services last year.
This grant ensures local authorities are resourced to take action to prevent homelessness from occurring and provides the funding to continue to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act. This funding is provided upfront and can be used flexibly as part of councils’ resourcing to achieve their homelessness and rough sleeping strategies.
The Government has now written to local authorities to confirm that the Rough Sleeping Initiative will continue to run in 2021/22, commencing its further year of funding in April 2021. It will be ringfenced in 2021/22 to ensure this fund is dedicated to helping achieve our shared ambition of ending rough sleeping.
These grants are part of a 60% increase in resource funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in 2021/22, compared to the 2019 Spending Review. Together with continued capital funding to deliver long-term accommodation for rough sleepers, the Government will be spending over £750 million in 2021/22 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
Building on the success of 'Everybody In', the Protect Programme has also been launched and will provide £15 million, alongside targeted Government support, to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected during the winter.
The Next Steps Accommodation Programme will cover property costs and support new tenancies for 15,000 vulnerable people. Local councils and their partners can apply for support from the £266 million fund, helping make sure people continue to have a safe place to stay and can begin to rebuild their lives with wrap-around services and care.