Robert Jenrick – 2021 Statement on Rough Sleeping

The statement made by Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 17 May 2021.

On Saturday, the Government announced the allocation of an additional £203 million to 210 areas—representing 281 local authorities—across England to tackle rough sleeping and provide support for people living on the streets. No one should have to sleep rough and that is why the Government have committed to ending rough sleeping. The Rough Sleeping Initiative is a key part of that mission.

The allocations can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rough-sleeping-initiative-2021-to-2022-funding-allocations.

Rough Sleeping

During the last 12 months we took unprecedented steps to protect rough sleepers from the pandemic and in the longer term. By the end of January, we had supported over 37,000 people since the pandemic began, with over 11,000 people currently being supported in emergency accommodation and over 26,000 already moved on into settled and supported accommodation. Figures published in February show that the number of people sleeping on our streets on a single night in autumn fell by 37% compared to the previous year.

This is a significant achievement, but our work continues, and we are proud to confirm allocations for the fourth year of this flagship programme.

Rough Sleeping Initiative 2021-22

The Government are announcing a total of £203 million of funding through the Rough Sleeping Initiative 2021-22. I am pleased to tell colleagues that this is an 81% increase from the £112 million provided last year.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative, initially launched in March 2018, seeks to reduce the levels of rough sleeping by working with local authorities to provide specialist services, tailored to local circumstances, to help vulnerable people off the streets. To date the programme has been a success, with a 2018 impact evaluation finding that there was a 32% reduction in rough sleeping in areas which received the Rough Sleeping Initiative funding in 2018-19, compared to the number it would have been had the Rough Sleeping Initiative not been in place.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative 2021-22 will build on past successes, providing ongoing support to those who need it and a route into settled accommodation. This year, it will also provide additional resource to continue supporting work to protect people sleeping rough from the covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s Rough Sleeping Initiative has expanded to cover 281 local authorities in England, an increase from the 270 authorities funded in 2020-21. It will provide funding for 14,500 bed spaces and 2,700 full time equivalent staff to deliver interventions to support those on the street, as well as helping local authorities and other providers transition to longer term preventative support.

Saturday’s funding announcement is just one part of the £750 million that this Government will be spending this financial year on homelessness and rough sleeping, and demonstrates our continued commitment to end rough sleeping.