Homelessness

I firmly believe that just one person without a roof over their head is one too many, and it is vitally important that the most vulnerable people in society, including homeless people and rough sleepers, are helped to get their lives back on track. That is why I am pleased over £1.2 billion has been allocated to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping through to 2020.
 
The Government has a strong record of preventing and relieving homelessness. Between 2010 and mid-2018, there have been over 1.6 million cases of homelessness prevention and relief across England. Whilst this is welcome progress there is much more to be done, which is why I am glad that over £400 million, in additional funding, was announced this September to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
 
I welcome the launch of a new £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy expected to provide rapid support to up to 6,000 vulnerable people either new to the streets or at risk of becoming rough sleepers. A recent study showed that in 2018 alone, the Rough Sleeping Initiative helped reduce the number of rough sleepers by over a third in funded areas. The Initiative complements the £28 million Housing First pilots which are supporting the most entrenched rough sleepers to get off the streets by providing them with stable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support.
 
Furthermore, I am glad that the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, the most ambitious legislative reform for tackling homelessness in decades, has recently come into force. This Act of Parliament, praised by both Shelter and Crisis, requires councils to provide early support to people at risk of homelessness.
 
I am confident that these measures will reduce homelessness across our country and help to achieve the aim of halving rough sleeping by 2022, and eliminating it altogether by 2027.
 
The Government has announced that it will carry out a review of legislation around homelessness and rough sleeping, including the Vagrancy Act 1824, to ensure the best measures are in place and that rough sleepers are not discriminated against. The Government will report on its review by March 2020.