The Prince of Wales has launched a £3 million five-year project to end homelessness across the UK.
Under the Homewards programme, projects will be set up around the UK with the aim to tackle homelessness on a local level.
Over the course of the five-year project, six flagship locations will be given £500,000 as well as new space, tools, and relationships to demonstrate the benefits of a collective effort in preventing homelessness.
Homelessness is an issue close to the Prince’s heart, due to being taken to homelessness charities by his mother, Princess Diana, as a child.
He said: “I am fortunate to have seen first-hand the tireless work of people and organisations across the sector, the tangible impact their efforts can have and what can be done when communities are able to focus on preventing homelessness, rather than managing it.
It’s a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated, and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations to make our ambition a reality.
Through Homewards, each location will create a coalition of people, organisations, and businesses to develop a tailored action plan to end homelessness in that area.
Solutions may involve improving connections between services or focusing support on at-risk groups, as well as delivering innovative housing projects to test new ways to unlock homes at scale.
Support and advice from Homewards’ national partners will also be made accessible to each location.
Prince William has honed his focus in on homelessness over the past year
This latest effort to tackle homelessness comes a year after he sold copies of The Big Issue in Central London with street vendor Dave Martin.
Afterwards, the pair headed to The Passage, a support hub for those experiencing homelessness of which the Prince is a patron.
Dave had sought help from the hub ten years ago when he was sleeping rough after coming to London in search of opportunities.
Through their discussion, Prince William highlighted the importance of cutting through the stigma and humanising those living with homelessness.
A year on, Prince William believes that collaboration is key when it comes to tackling the issue: “In a modern and progressive society, everyone should have a safe and secure home, be treated with dignity and given the support they need.
Through Homewards, I want to make this a reality over the next five years, and give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented when we collaborate.
Social housing is another aspect of the Prince’s plans
Prior to this announcement, Prince William also revealed plans build social housing on his private Cornwall estate.
Earlier this month, the Prince was asked whether there were duchy plans in relation to affordable housing given the number of spare bedrooms on his estate.
He said: “There is. Absolutely. Social housing. You’ll see that when it’s ready. I’m no policy expert, but I push it where I can.”
Continuing, Prince William said that he will “start small” with social housing on his land, and will look to increase the amount available should the scheme prove effective.
He added: “It’s all very well doing big gestures, but there’s no point if there’s no future to it.”