Thank you for contacting me about Housing First.
Let me begin by saying that one person without a roof over their head is one too many. I was proud to stand on a manifesto that pledged to end rough sleeping this Parliament, and I am glad that the Government is providing substantial funding for both immediate accommodation and longer-term support, with over £750 million invested in 2021-22 alone.
Housing First has an impressive international record in helping people with complex needs to recover and stay off the streets for good. I am therefore glad that the Government has provided £28 million to pilot Housing First at scale in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, spanning 23 local authorities. These pilots are now in their fourth year and have supported over 1,050 of the most entrenched and cyclical rough sleepers across 23 local authorities.
To ensure that this world-class project is unleashed to its full potential and that there is a robust awareness of how the project could work best on a larger scale, an evaluation of Housing First has been launched. Together with the experiences from the three pilots, I am told that the findings of this evaluation will be used to inform the Government’s next steps.
I would like to point out that, in addition to these pilots, the Government already provides funding for a number of Housing-First-style schemes through the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme where local partners have identified a need for this type of provision.
More widely, it is encouraging to see substantial funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. In the 2021 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced an investment of a further £639 million each year by 2024-25 to continue the progress that has already been made. This reflects an 85 per cent cash increase compared to 2019-20 and will form part of a cross-government approach to address the drivers of rough sleeping, including funding for reoffending initiatives of £200 million a year by 2024-25.
I recognise that many want to see Housing First rolled out at pace, and I am assured that the Government is committed to expanding the project as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle rough sleeping once and for all.