Housing secretary Robert Jenrick is to offer an additional £105 million to help homeless people move into private rental market homes as well as other accommodation types.
The money, which is available until March 2021, is part of his department’s existing efforts to offer a wide range of accommodation providers financial help via local authorities to give 15,000 rough sleepers more permanent homes that are ‘good value for money’ and ‘safe’.
During the Covid lockdown homeless people were offered accommodation in hostels and hotels but the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is now seeking to give them a leg up into more secure but interim accommodation by supporting new tenancies within the private sector.
Landlords who take on tenants funded by the scheme will receive deposits and rent paid directly to them by local authorities and will be offered mediation services and cash incentives as sweeteners to be part of the scheme.
Called the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, it is part of the government’s wider rough sleeping initiative coordinated by Dame Louise Casey.
“We now have a landmark opportunity to break the cycle of rough sleeping and ensure that people do not return to a life on the streets,” says Jenrick.
“Today I am launching the funding to ensure that vulnerable people and rough sleepers continue to have a roof over their heads and are helped into longer term accommodation, enabling them to start to rebuild their lives.”
The Next Steps Accommodation Programme is part of a two-pronged approach to offer homeless people both interim accommodation and also more longer-term properties.