Thank you for contacting me about ending rough sleeping.
I welcome the efforts of St Mungo's and other agencies to end homelessness. I was elected on a manifesto that pledged to end it under this Parliament by expanding programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First.
This crisis has shown us what is possible, but at the same time presents new challenges as we work together to end rough sleeping here in the constituency and throughout the country.
As I am sure you are aware, the taskforce led by Dame Louise Casey supports rough sleepers during the current pandemic. The taskforce works with councils to support rough sleepers into long-term accommodation once lockdown is lifted, ensuring as few people as possible return to the streets.
Since the start of the pandemic almost 15,000 rough sleepers and those at risk of doing so have been provided with emergency accommodation. A further £105 million was announced in June to help rough sleepers into stable accommodation by paying deposits and securing alternative rooms that are readily available.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has also announced a £6 million emergency fund to provide relief for frontline homelessness charitable organisations and £23 million toward addressing substance misuse.
In January 2020, MHCLG announced allocations of a £112 million Rough Sleeping Initiative fund to provide support to those living on the streets. This funding will be used by local authorities, charities and other organisations in around 270 areas and will fund up to 6,000 bed spaces and 3,300 staff.
As you point out, at this time of emergency we need to keep the momentum up.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP