Government pledges further £19.5million to tackle homelessness in South West
- Separately, four councils in region receive £2.4million in substance misuse funding and three secure £1.5million via Protect Programme
South West councils will receive an additional £19.5million of government funding to prevent vulnerable people becoming homeless in 2021/22, the Communities Secretary has announced.
Councils in Devon will receive the most in Homelessness Prevention Grants in the region, with £4.2million, followed by authorities in Swindon and Wiltshire (£2.9million), Bristol (£2.9million), Dorset (£2.7million), Somerset (£2.6million), Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire (£2.4million) and Cornwall (£1.7million).
Across the country, £310million will be targeted at areas with high numbers of homeless people, those at risk of homelessness or those living in temporary accommodation, helping them to rebuild their lives.
The funding represents a £47million increase on this year and can be used to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions or to provide temporary accommodation to ensure families have a roof over their head.
The investment underlines the government’s commitment to fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act by ensuring councils have the funding they need to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner.
It is part of overall investment of more than £750million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping next year.
It builds on the ongoing Everyone In campaign, which is protecting thousands of lives during the pandemic by housing rough sleepers.
By September, the campaign had supported over 29,000 vulnerable people, with two-thirds now moved into settled accommodation.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we look back on an incredibly challenging year, everyone who has helped protect rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness during this pandemic should be proud of the role they have played in our internationally-recognised response.
“I am announcing £310million to help councils protect those at risk of homelessness in the year ahead.
“We have a moral duty to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society rebuild their lives and look forward to a brighter future, and this funding will help us to realise that ambition.”
In a separate announcement, rough sleepers in 43 areas across England will receive extra support to help them recover from drug and alcohol misuse, thanks a £23million government fund.
Four South West councils have received a total of £2.4million in substance misuse funding – Cornwall (£841,495), Bristol (£711,064), Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£494,218) and Dorset (£306,713).
Also, an initial £10million will go to 19 areas, plus the Greater London Authority, under the government’s Protect Programme, which provides accommodation for rough sleepers during the pandemic in areas that require extra support during the restrictions and throughout winter.
Three South West councils have secured a total of £1.5million via this programme – Cornwall (£591,444), Bristol (£565,671) and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£337,000).
Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, said: “We know that one of the main issues facing those sleeping rough, or at risk of homelessness, is misuse of drugs or alcohol and what a crippling effect these substances have on people’s lives.
“While our Everyone In campaign has helped to protect thousands of lives, we still need to work hard to break the cycle of rough sleeping for good.
“This funding will provide thousands of vulnerable people with the support they need to get on the road to recovery to rebuild their lives away from the streets for good.”