Last Updated: 19 September 2019
Created: 19 September 2019
Justin Tomlinson MP has welcomed news that the number of vulnerable people sleeping rough on the streets has reduced as a result of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.
An independently peer reviewed report analysed the impact of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative between its inception in March 2018 and autumn 2018. Results from the report showed that there were 32% fewer rough sleepers during the period compared to what the number would have been had the initiative not been in place.
During the first year of this initiative, £30 million was allocated to councils with the highest number of rough sleepers based on 2017 figures, of which Swindon received £194,000. This year, the government has allocated a further £46 million to build on the good work of the initiative, meaning a total of £76 million has been allocated to 246 councils across the country to date.
This initiative comes as part of the Government’s wider strategy to end rough sleeping. The Government has so far provided over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, along with a further £422 million of funding recently announced by the Chancellor for 2020-21.
In addition, the Government announced a further £10 million Cold Weather Fund for councils to provide life-saving support for rough sleepers during the cold winter weather. Last year, the Cold Weather Fund provided over 1,000 additional bed spaces to those who would have otherwise been sleeping outside in the cold.
Swindon North MP, Justin Tomlinson, said, “I am very pleased to see the Government’s new trailblazing initiative is helping to tackle the issue of rough sleeping. Although there is still a lot of work to be done to reach the Government’s target of ending rough sleeping by 2027, this is an important step in the right direction
“I am very supportive of the pro-active work that Swindon Borough Council and their Housing Team, which I have seen first-hand and I hope this announcement will help further extend their work helping us support some of our most vulnerable members of our community, with often very complex needs.”