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Brokenshire intervention threat over rough sleeping

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Councils will be expected to publish detailed rough sleeping and homeless strategies by next winter, with a threat of government intervention for those that fail to act.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire has today launched the the government’s rough sleeping delivery plan together with an £11m fund to support homeless people into safe accommodation, for which councils must bid competitively.

He warned: “Government will take action where councils fail to do so.”

The delivery plan follows last March’s launch of the rough sleeping initiative after which £64m was ultimately allocated to 83 areas with the highest number of rough sleepers. The remaining £11m allocated will available to bids from other local authorities.

Mr Brokenshire said: “No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet, despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night.

“That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027. This new action plan sets out the next steps to making this goal a reality.”

The government will work with the Local Government Association and safeguarding boards to ensure safeguarding reviews are held when a person who sleeps rough dies or is seriously harmed through abuse or neglect.

Other measures announced included work coaches in every Jobcentre Plus by next summer, who will help homeless people to access support, and a Government study into the links between homelessness and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.

Responding Martin Tett (Con), Local Government Association housing spokesman, said: “Any extra investment will help local efforts to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

“Councils are determined to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping from happening in the first place and support families affected. This is becoming increasingly difficult with homelessness services facing a funding gap of more than £100m in 2019-20.

“Proper resourcing of local government funding is essential if we are going to end rising homelessness. Councils also need to keep 100% of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuine affordable home they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms to prevent people from losing their home where possible.”




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