Lord Hylton – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Hylton on 2015-01-15.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they are taking to assist rough sleepers, and in particular homeless military veterans.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Department of Communities and Local Government has the lead on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping. Formed in 2010, the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness brings Departments together to ensure that Departments across Government play their part in tackling both the causes and consequences of homelessness. Throughout this Parliament, the group has worked together to coordinate action on the issues facing homeless people.

The Government have increased spending to prevent and tackle rough sleeping and homelessness making over £500 million available, giving councils the funding and tools needed to take action against rough sleeping locally.

There are a range of initiatives and projects in place to help rough sleepers, prevent single homelessness and to help those who have been homeless find and sustain accommodation.

Thousands of vulnerable people, including military veterans, who have slept rough or faced with the prospect of doing so have been given the help they need through No Second Night Out and Streetlink. By using Streetlink the public can help connect rough sleepers to the local services available so they can get the help they need to get them off the streets. Since 2012 Streetlink has made nearly 21,000 rough sleeping referrals to councils with over 9,000 having positive outcomes (such as accessing services) of which nearly 1,800 have had a specific housing outcome.

We have supported the roll-out of No Second Night Out nationally through the £20 million Homelessness Transition Fund for the voluntary sector ensuring rough sleepers are found quickly and that they do not spend more than one night on the street. In 20 key rough sleeping areas outside London 67% of rough sleepers were helped off the streets after a single night according to homelessness charities.

We have launched an £8 million Help for Single Homeless Fund for local authorities which will improve council services for single people facing the prospect of homelessness. 34 projects, working across 168 local authorities, will provide support for up 22,000 single homeless people.

Finally, the Government is helping single homeless people find and sustain accommodation in the private rented sector through our £13 million funding to Crisis. By 2016 we expect the Crisis scheme to have helped 10,000 single homeless people since it started in 2010.

We work closely with Homeless Link, who represent homelessness charities across England, and attended the launch of their homelessness manifesto at a recent parliamentary reception.

It is not for the Government itself to respond to the manifestos produced by Non-Governmental Organisations and pressure groups ahead of the general election, but we welcome the broader contribution to the debate.