The government is pouring £13m into a homelessness reduction initiative to fund long-term accommodation for prison leavers in the private rented sector.
More than 140 councils across England will share out the cash to pay for landlord incentives and loans for rent deposits, specialised insurance and dedicated staff working with prison leavers to maintain their tenancy long-term.
The aim is to cut crime by reducing the number of prison leavers ending up homeless so that they can get a job and access treatment for addictions.
Accommodation should provide the stable base many with drug or alcohol issues need to engage with treatment services and stay clean and sober.
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland (main pic) says the combination of strong supervision from probation staff and support into treatment, a home and a job will drive down crime.
He adds: “It gives offenders the incentive and opportunity to break the cycle of repeat offending and will save thousands of law-abiding people from becoming victims.”
Crime and drugs
In total, the government is spending £750 million to tackle rough sleeping this year and the new council funding will pay for a range of initiatives specifically tailored to help prison leavers move away from crime, drugs, and living on the streets and into private rented accommodation.
An extra £80 million will expand drug rehab services in England – the biggest increase in investment in 15 years – so that another 5,000 offenders can receive treatment.
This support will be underpinned with strict supervision from the newly-unified probation service which recruited a record 1,000 trainee probation officers last year and is recruiting another 1,500 this year.
The accommodation scheme is launching in five probation service regions: Yorkshire & Humber, Greater Manchester, the North West, the East of England and Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Read more about incentives to persuade landlords to accept homeless applicants.