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Government commits £236m to battle rough sleeping


The government has announced a round of new funding to the tune of £236m to try and end the rough sleeping issue evident all across Britain.


As well as this new money, which comes on top of the £437m the government reports of having committed to tackle both homelessness and rough sleeping this and next year, it has also appointed Dame Louise Casey to produce a review into rough sleeping.


Furthermore, Adam Holloway MP has been named as parliamentary private secretary to Robert Jenrick MP. He will have a specific brief to tackle rough sleeping.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson says: “It is simply unacceptable that we still have so many people sleeping on the streets, and I am absolutely determined to end rough sleeping once and for all.


“We must tackle the scourge of rough sleeping urgently, and I will not stop until the thousands of people in this situation are helped off the streets and their lives have been rebuilt.”


Shelter chief executive Polly Neate comments: “Sleeping rough can be dangerous and deadly, so it’s absolutely right that the Prime Minister wants to tackle it head on. There is no great secret about what is causing this emergency. As we see in our services day in and day out, most people are tipped into homelessness simply because there are not enough affordable, safe, and secure homes in this country.


“The bottom line is people can’t afford to live anywhere – a problem made infinitely worse by a dire lack of social homes and cuts to housing benefit. On top of this, cuts to local mental health and social care services have removed much needed support for many people in crisis.


“Emergency measures to get people off the streets quickly and housing first pilots can only go so far, if you don’t have the stable homes to back them up. The upcoming budget is the perfect opportunity to future-proof the country against the horrors of homelessness – whether that’s rough-sleeping or families trapped in precarious temporary accommodation – by investing in a new generation of secure social homes.”


Official figures released today show that while the number of people believed to be rough sleeping dropped 9 per cent from last year, with 411 fewer people counted, it is up 141 per cent in the last teen years, totalling 4,266.


For its part, the mortgage industry at large announced that its charity sleep out, that was so successful in 2018, will be returning this year.

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