SIX thousand supported homes will be made available to rough sleepers, Robert Jenrick confirmed during the Government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Sunday.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary said £433m will be spent on the project.
Of the money dedicated to creating accommodation, £160m will be spent this year to get it up and running, with 3,300 homes to be built in the next 12 months.
“Some people will need help to return to the private rental sector, but others will need accommodation to be provided so that they can start to rebuild their lives,” Mr Jenrick said.
“That’s why 6,000 new supported homes will be made available for rough sleepers, providing safe accommodation for people we’ve helped off the streets during the pandemic.
“The Government is backing this effort with £433 million to fast track the safe accommodation desperately needed to ensure as few rough sleepers as possible return to the streets.
“Three thousand, three hundred of these new homes will become available in the next 12 months, and £160 million will be spent this year to deliver that.
“But rough sleeping is as much a health issue, as it is a housing issue. It’s a crisis of addiction and mental health as well.
“So we will provide specialist support staff for rough sleepers in this new accommodation to ensure that they can continue to receive the health support that they will need to transform their lives and fulfil their potential.”
Mr Jenrick said 90% of rough sleepers were offered accommodation during the pandemic and they hope to limit how maybe people return to the streets.
“Because of the action that we’ve already taken, for the first time in my lifetime, we know who the vast majority of rough sleepers are and where they’re living.
“That means that we can assess each individual’s needs and tailor the support that we provide next.”
Additionally, people who have been shielding during lockdown, will be allowed out from Monday, it was stated during the briefing.
Mr Jenrick also confirmed that the next review of shielding measures will take place in the week commencing June 15 and officials will consider the next steps of the programme “more generally” beyond June 30.
“Following that review, the NHS will also write to all individuals on the shielding patient list with information about next steps on shielding advice and the support that will be available to them.
“If the conditions become less favourable, our advice to those being asked to shield will, unfortunately, need to be tightened.
“The government will continue to ensure that support is available to those who need it for as long as possible, and for as long as people are advised to follow the shielding guidance.
“Once again, can I thank all those shielding for your patience, and for your fortitude.
“Everybody across the country appreciates the unique challenges that you face, and we want to continue to do all we can to ensure that whilst you might be at home shielding for a bit longer, you are not alone,” he said.
Additional Reporting By PA Media