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6 November, 2020 Open access

Government announces further £15 million in funding to help councils provide rough sleepers with accommodation over the winter

Funding to go to areas with highest numbers of rough sleepers, with priority given to those who are clinically vulnerable

The government has announced a further £15 million in funding to help councils provide rough sleepers with accommodation over the winter.

Setting out details of the funding, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) says that the funding - which is on top of the £91.5 million allocated to 274 councils in September 2020 - will support ongoing efforts to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and that under the new ‘Protect Programme’ -

'Areas with high numbers of rough sleepers will receive extra targeted support to provide accommodation for those currently sleeping rough, working with councils to prioritise those who are clinically vulnerable - this will continue throughout the winter until March 2021.'

In addition, the MHCLG says that all councils will be required to update their rough sleeping plans by the end of the year, and that they will be asked to carry out a rapid assessment of need for everyone they accommodate, and consider time-limited interventions for those rough sleeping now or new to rough sleeping.

Commenting on the new funding, Communities Minister Robert Jenrick said -

'At the start of the pandemic we launched Everyone In, which protected thousands of vulnerable people. That work hasn’t stopped and we’ve backed it with £700 million.

As the new national measures come into force, I am launching the Protect Programme to ensure councils are offering everyone sleeping rough on our streets today somewhere safe to go – protecting people from the virus and moving forward with our goal of eliminating rough sleeping.'

NB - the top ten areas to receive funding are London; City of Bristol; Brighton and Hove; Cornwall; Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole; Manchester; Salford; Oxford; Leicester; and Birmingham.

For more information, see Jenrick launches 'Protect Programme': the next step in winter rough sleeping plan from gov.uk