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DCLG announces social impact bonds to tackle homelessness

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Funding worth £40m has been assigned to areas through grants and social impact bonds in a bid to tackle homelessness.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced the successful bids yesterday.

A quarter of the funding pot has been assigned to social impact bonds, which are payment-by-results initiatives. The money will be used to “turn around the lives of the most entrenched rough sleepers” by moving them into accommodation and addressing their complex needs, the DCLG said.

Greater Manchester was one of eight areas to submit a successful social impact bond bid. The combined authority, which is still in discussions with the government about the funding, aims to develop emergency hubs with accommodation to support those who have recently started rough sleeping. These will be short-term hubs providing practical advice to support individuals back into settled housing.

The region also hopes to combine the social impact bond funding with money it has received for another homelessness prevention programme in a bid to create an “integrated approach” to tackling homelessness, the combined authority said. Greater Manchester’s plans have been developed in conjunction with the NHS, police, and third sector organisations.

Tony Lloyd (Lab), interim Greater Manchester mayor, said: “The levels of homelessness in our city-region are disgraceful. Homelessness is ruining the lives of far too many people in Greater Manchester; we can now do more to help those who are living on our streets.”

Other areas to win funding for a social impact bond include Bristol, Brighton, Kent and the Greater London Authority.  

Of the remaining £30m of government funding, £20m is going towards establishing new approaches to preventing homelessness in 28 areas. Another £10m grant funding will be divided between 16 areas in London and 31 areas outside of the capital.

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