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£3.3M Extra Funding Announced to Tackle Homelessness

3 min

Rough sleepers will be given a safe place to stay and vital support to help turn their lives around, as the Department for Levelling Up announced a funding boost to the Night Shelter Transformation Fund.

More people than ever are struggling to afford a secure place to live. According to Shelter, over 1 million households are waiting for social homes.

Last year, 29,000 social homes were sold or demolished, and less than 7,000 were built. In England, there are now 1.4 million fewer households in social housing than there were in 1980.

As a result, millions of households have been pushed into the private rented sector, which has more than doubled in this time.

At least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England

The social housing shortage has forced many low-income people who should be benefiting from access to the social rented sector, into the private rented sector. This has pushed thousands of people into unacceptable circumstances, such as overcrowding or temporary accommodation.

It has put many people at risk of homelessness because they can’t afford the private rental market. Recent research from Shelter shows at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children.

To help tackle the homelessness crisis, the UK Government has announced more than £3 million to be available to shelters to provide more beds and life-changing support services.

Shelters can use the funding to continue to offer a vital route off the streets, providing specialist staff, drug or alcohol advice and financial assistance.

This funding aims to tackle rough sleeping in the UK for good

The funding boost builds on the over £9 million delivered in the first round which funded 80 organisations over three years, targeting areas most in need. The second-round cash injection will help more rough sleepers turn their lives around.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan, highlighted the importance of tackling the homelessness crisis: “Night shelters are often the first step for rough sleepers to get off the streets and turn their lives around, providing a safe place to sleep and access to support. Today, I visited Gravesham Sanctuary to see how our Night Shelter Transformation Fund helps organisations provide these services.”

I’m delighted to announce this £3 million boost to the fund which will be life-changing for rough sleepers up and down the country.

The Night Shelter Transformation Fund is the next step in the UK Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping for good.

In 2022, the Department for Levelling Up announced the three-year £500 million Rough Sleeping Initiative, in addition to £1 billion given to councils over three years to help prevent and tackle rough sleeping in the areas it most needed.

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, explained how crucial the Night Shelter Transformation Fund is: “The Night Shelter Transformation Fund is an incredibly important project enabling homeless organisations to transform the quality of off-the-street accommodation in their local communities.”

Being able to offer dignified accommodation makes a huge difference to our members’ work to end rough sleeping and reduce the need for emergency shelters.

The transformed shelter will enable guests to stay a few weeks or months until their move into settled accommodation.

Funding like this is essential to see those facing homelessness be provided with the best possible care and services and helps put them on a safer path.