Thank you for contacting me about homelessness.
I firmly believe that just one person without a roof over their head is one too many, and it is vitally important that the most vulnerable people in society, including homeless people and rough sleepers, are helped to get their lives back on track.
Reducing homelessness should be an absolute priority, which is why it is encouraging that firm action through additional funding and ambitious legislation has and will be taken to support those who are homeless and prevent it from happening all together.
The Prime Minister recently announced a further £236 million toward Housing First style accommodation for up to 6,000 rough sleepers. This is on top of £437 million already committed for 2020-21 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in our communities.
Even though rough sleeping fell by 9 per cent in 2019, much more still needs to be done. I am glad that the Government is seriously addressing the root causes of homelessness and rough sleeping through new legislation that protects renters, building a record number of homes of all tenures and launching an independent review into rough sleeping.
I was pleased that new measures to reduce homelessness were included in this year's Budget. The government is introducing additional exemptions from the Shared Accommodation Rate for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants to protect those at risk of homelessness. This will enable rough sleepers aged 16-24, care leavers up to the age of 25, and victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking to live on their own, supporting their recovery from homelessness.
Moreover, an additional £9.5bn funding for the Affordable Homes Programme will help more people into homeownership and help those most at risk of homelessness.
I am confident that these measures will reduce homelessness, not only in the Totnes and South Devon Constituency, but across our country and help to achieve the aim of ending rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.