In November, the government announced the Protect Programme – £15m of funding for rough sleeper accommodation that will be available until March 2021.
The government has now allocated £10m of the funding for 19 areas in order to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the pandemic in areas that require extra support during the restrictions and throughout winter.
Councils have also been asked to revise their plans to accommodate rough sleepers “to make sure every rough sleeper is offered somewhere safe to go”. Specifically, the government has asked all councils to:
Further information is available on the government’s website.
We welcome this extra funding and the attention to rough sleepers’ support needs. Going forward, we would like to see funding for all councils to bring everyone rough sleeping indoors again - to support the increasing number of people that are forced to sleep rough due the coronavirus crisis - as well as prevention services.
Many housing associations have helped move rough sleepers into safe accommodation and have prioritised making offers of permanent housing – you can read more about this on our website. They have also supported tenancy sustainment, which you can read more about in our briefing.
On 19 November, we signed a joint open letter with the Salvation Army and other organisations from the housing and homelessness sectors, to ask for a continuation of long-term investment in rough sleeping and homelessness in the forthcoming Spending Review.