Just before Christmas, a time of year when the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is really brought into perspective, the Government announced the allocation of £654 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant that will be made available to local authorities in 2023/24 and 2024/25 to support them to deliver services to prevent and tackle homelessness.
Funding will be allocated to all local authorities in England, targeting areas with high levels of homelessness, including those living in temporary accommodation. The ringfenced grant will be provided upfront each year and can be used flexibly by councils to deliver their homelessness and rough sleeping strategies - by offering financial support for people to find a new home, providing temporary accommodation, working with landlords to prevent evictions or other measures to prevent homelessness. This will support local authorities to embed fully the Homelessness Reduction Act and prevent more people from becoming homeless or sleeping rough.
This funding includes £24 million to increase support to homeless domestic abuse victims following the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This will help local authorities give priority need for accommodation to those who are homeless as a result of being a victim of domestic abuse, ensuring victims do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.
I am pleased to report that the Forest of Dean will receive in excess of £300,000 over two years to put towards tackling homelessness and rough sleeping locally. More widely, Gloucestershire will benefit from an over £3.7 million share of the fund.
The Homelessness Prevention Grant builds on the excellent progress the Government has already made on its commitment to end rough sleeping. We have seen a sustained decrease in rough sleeping on a single night, with rough sleeping levels 49% lower in 2021 than the peak in 2017, according to the official snapshot, and over half a million households have been supported to secure accommodation since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act.
We are protecting vulnerable people from becoming homeless.
We’ve announced £654 million to help councils support those who need it most.
This will also provide temporary accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and their children.
— Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (@luhc) December 28, 2022
This article was first published in The Forester newspaper.