316 million pounds to tackle homelessness announced

It will be available to councils in England over 2022-23 based on local need

The Government has announced £316 million to support homeless people and those at risk of losing their homes.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities say that the Homelessness Prevention Grant will help people find a new home, get help with evictions or move into temporary accommodation.

It will be available to councils in England over 2022-23 based on local need.

The funding also includes £5.8 million to support those forced into homelessness by domestic abuse.

It is part of more than £2 billion in funding the Government said it has committed over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

It follows a warning from the charity Shelter last week that more than 274,000 people are homeless in England on any given night, with fears of a “rising tide” of evictions.

Minister for rough sleeping Eddie Hughes said: “I have seen first-hand the devastation of those who come face to face with homelessness, and my heart goes out to anyone in this situation.

“The support we are announcing today is going directly to communities that need it most.

“It will help thousands of people across England, with councils able to prevent homelessness before it occurs and put a roof over the heads of those who have lost their homes.”

It follows a boost of £28 million, announced on Monday, to encourage rough sleepers to get their coronavirus vaccines and move into safe accommodation.

The Government did not say how many rough sleepers have been vaccinated.

Charities say uptake among rough sleepers is lower than uptake among the general population, while this cohort is also more vulnerable to coronavirus due to poorer pre-existing health.

Research by Groundswell, based on 134 interviews with people experiencing homelessness, identified reasons for low vaccine uptake such as mistrust of Government, doubting efficacy, concerns it may be detrimental to their health, and access barriers.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “To end homelessness we need to prevent people being forced from their homes in the first place, so this funding for vital local authority services is very welcome.

“With the appalling rise in domestic abuse during lockdowns and the pandemic forcing many more into homelessness, it is especially important that councils in England will have more money to provide accommodation for survivors.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub