Housing bid for £55m homeless fund

  • There is now a £55m fund to upgrade existing accommodation and provide new housing for homeless people.

    The fund which is open for bids, will be used over the following two years and has £25m available for accommodation outside London and £30m in London, reports 24dash.

    The money is said to be used for two different projects: /images/briefing/money.jpg

    1)      The Homeless Change project, which will provide upgraded hostel accommodation to improve physical and mental health outcomes for those who are homeless, whilst also reducing A&E attendances.

    2)      The Platform for Life project which will create new low-rent shared accommodation for young people wishing to work.

    Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, said: "Having nowhere stable to live, or sleeping on the street, can seriously damage a person's health. It often leads to significant physical and mental health problems, and without accommodation and support, the chances of recovery are very limited. Joining up health and housing services can make a massive difference and I'm delighted that these funds have the potential to not only help people get on with their lives, but also to save valuable NHS resources by reducing A&E attendances."

    The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This new funding is designed to help prevent young people from ever sleeping rough and to ensure hostels are fully equipped and of a good standard for everyone who needs them. Offering young people extra support so they stay in education and on the right track is essential. Nobody should have to call the streets their home, and while we are proud of the decline in entrenched rough sleeping, more needs to be done to stem the flow of people facing homelessness and maintain services needed by some of our most vulnerable Londoners."

    Organisations are now invited to bid for a share of this new funding.

    To qualify for a room, young people will need to commit to a full time apprenticeship, further education, or a job. The room will be provided for up to two years, allowing them to get their lives on track and save up for a deposit to rent privately as an employed person.

    Rick Henderson, chief executive of umbrella body Homeless Link, said: "This funding is positive news and will enable more vulnerable people to access the stable accommodation they need to get their lives back on track. Homeless people experience some of the poorest health in our society so investment which aims to improve people's housing and health situation together should be welcomed. However, this is only sustainable with funding for support, health services and care for the people living there. The reality is many services have had to cut back on frontline staff, and only 4% get any investment from the NHS."

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