Zac Goldsmith MP has welcomed new investment from the Conservative Government, spearheaded by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, to help the constituency support rough sleepers into safe and stable accommodation where they can rebuild their lives.
Richmond and Kingston Councils are set to receive more than £400,000 to help vulnerable people get the specialist support they need to keep them off the streets for good. The money for the Rapid Rehousing Pathway will fund innovative local schemes which will help those sleeping rough off the streets for good, as well as specialist support to help them back on their feet.
As part of this, new support workers will act as a single point of contact to help people with complex needs such as substance abuse and mental health problems to get the advice and support they need to turn their lives around. Dedicated letting agents will also be funded to provide advice and housing for those sleeping on the streets.
The funding provided for councils across the UK will total more than £7.2m over the next year, and forms part of the Conservative Government’s £100 million plan to end rough sleeping by 2027. Already we are making progress with the first fall in rough sleeping since 2010, but schemes like this will help us achieve our ambition of being a country in which no-one needs to sleep on the streets.
Commenting, Zac Goldsmith MP said:
“No one should have to face a night on the streets, and I’m pleased to see the Conservative Government taking steps to provide support for people in Richmond Park and North Kingston. This new support will mean vulnerable people in our community get the specialist support they need to get back on their feet and turn their lives around. We are determined to end rough sleeping for good, and this investment takes us another step further to reaching this outcome.”
Today’s announcement follows the publication of the latest annual rough sleeping statistics, which show the number of people sleeping rough across the England has fallen for the first time since 2010.
Notes to Editors
· Kingston is set to receive £195,214 and Richmond is set to receive £207,318
· In areas where our Rough Sleeping Initiatives have been rolled out we have seen a fall of 23 per cent in rough sleepers on previous years. The Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) was launched in March 2018 and is targeted at local authorities with high numbers of people sleeping rough. There were 2,748 people recorded as sleeping rough across the 83 RSI areas in autumn 2018, this is a decrease of 639 or 23 per cent from the 2017 figure of 3,387. Across the 83 RSI areas, 60 or 72 per cent of areas reported a decrease, 19 or 23 per cent reported an increase, and 4 or 5 per cent reported no change in the number of people sleeping rough since 2017 (MHCLG, Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England, 31 January 2019, link).
· The number of counted or estimated rough sleepers in England has fallen by 2 per cent since 2017. This was down by 74 people or 2 per cent from the 2017 total of 4,751, and was up 2,909 people or 165 per cent from the 2010 total of 1,768 (MHCLG, Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England, 31 January 2019, link).
· The number of rough sleepers has decreased in England but increased in Sadiq Khan’s London since 2017. The number of people sleeping rough decreased by 220 or 6 per cent in the rest of England but increased by 146 or 13 per cent in London since 2017 (MHCLG, Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England, 31 January 2019, link).