New Government plans aim to see rough sleeping eradicated in England within the next decade, with up to 6,000 vulnerable people receiving specialist support to prevent homelessness.
There are also plans targeted at individual groups such as LGBT+ people, as well as those leaving prison, with a focus on prevention, as well as intervention and recovery.
‘I Am Determined To Make It A Thing Of The Past’
James Brokenshire, the Communities Secretary. Image Credit: Number 10 / Flickr
Speaking about the plans, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, said it was “simply unacceptable that people have to sleep on our streets” and that he was “determined to make it a thing of the past.”
“Whether people are at risk of rough sleeping, already on the streets or in need of settled accommodation, we now have a solid plan to help the most vulnerable in our society.
“And this is not just about putting a roof over their heads but helping them find a place to call home,” he added.
We now have a solid plan to help the most vulnerable in our society.
James Brokenshire MP
“They need and deserve our support and, through our expert-backed strategy, I am confident they will get it.”
‘Not New Money’
Image Credit: Unsplash
However, the plans have come under some criticism from Labour MPs, after it was revealed the plans are not back by new money.
Shocked that we were told last night that ‘new’ rough sleeping strategy is new money and now James Brokenshire says its not. ‘Reprioritisation’.
— Sarah Jones MP (@LabourSJ) August 13, 2018
Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central and the Shadow Housing minister, said she was “shocked” after the Government admitted half of the money had already committed to tackling homelessness.
The rest comes from ‘reprioritisation’, meaning cuts and underspends elsewhere.
Previously his junior minister Chris Philip had claimed the money was new.
Figures show that more than 4,750 people are currently thought to be sleeping rough in England, something which touches on several of our most basic human rights such as health, education – and of course, the right to adequate housing.
However, homeless charities have been broadly positive about the new plans. The Chief Executive of Shelter Polly Neate said it was clearly “a step forward”, but not “a total fix for homelessness.”
“We still need to tackle the chronic lack of genuinely affordable homes, deep instability of renting and problems with housing benefit that are leaving so many without a home.”