Housing

Sajid Javid launches new rough sleeping task force with £30m fund

Councils with high numbers of rough sleepers will benefit from cash and expertise to help them tackle growing concerns

Sajid Javid

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has promised rapid impact from his new rough sleeping task force.

The task force, launched today ahead of the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act next week, is made up of experts from government departments and agencies with a specialist knowledge in housing, mental health and addiction. They will work towards the Government’s commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022.

With next week’s Homelessness Reduction Act introduction, extra legal duties will be placed on councils to ensure rough sleepers are supported in their area.

Councils with high numbers of rough sleepers will benefits from a £30m fund as part of today’s announcement, with the task force helping to develop tailored solutions for problems in those areas.

£100,000 of extra funding will go towards supporting frontline workers tackling rough sleeping across the country to provide them with the right skills and training to tackle the issue.

The Communities Secretary, who spoke exclusively to The Big Issue about why his trip to Finland inspired him to tackle Britain’s growing housing crisis with a Housing First approach, launched his Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel in December last year in a bid to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027.

He said: “Tackling the causes of rough sleeping is undoubtedly complex but we must do all we can – working across central and local government, the voluntary and charity sector – to help the most vulnerable in society and eliminate rough sleeping for good.”

Today’s launch comes amid growing criticism over spiralling numbers of people on the streets and Conservative Party homelessness minister Heather Wheeler saying she didn’t know the reasons behind the appalling rough sleeping figures.

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