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New rough sleeping team welcomed
April 3rd, 2018
But it will only work if enough extra accommodation, including emergency beds, is provided to people who are homeless, says youth homelessness charity.
Depaul UK today welcomed the Government’s announcement it is setting up a new rough sleeping team, but warned the initiative will fail unless people who are homeless are able to access accommodation.
Interim CEO Ian Brady, who is former Deputy Director of the Government’s Rough Sleepers Unit, said: “The creation of this cross-government unit with extra funding shows the Government is taking its commitment to end rough sleeping seriously, and Depaul UK is keen to contribute to its work.
“We believe the new team needs to prioritise increasing the supply of accommodation, including emergency beds, for people sleeping rough, particularly young people. It is encouraging that the Government is looking at working with housing associations to provide more move-on accommodation. In the past, efforts to reduce rough sleeping have only succeeded when more accommodation was made available for people who were currently, or about to, sleep rough.”
Mr Brady said: “However, Depaul UK is still extremely concerned by the Government’s proposals to change the funding system for supported accommodation, which often allows people experiencing homelessness to take their first step away from the streets.
“Two-thirds of supported accommodation projects end up turning people away because they are full. The Government’s proposals put funding for existing projects at risk and will stop investment in new services that are desperately needed.”
He added: “Moreover, in many areas it is also extremely hard to find private rented housing that young people can afford, even with support from the benefits system. It is a particular problem in places where high numbers of young people are sleeping rough.”
Media Contact: Ollie Wilson, Depaul, Oliver.Wilson@depaulcharity.org.uk, 07823 412127