Local authorities invited to bid into £26 million fund for vulnerable rough sleepers

This funding forms part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy, announced in August 2018, which aims to “end rough sleeping for good”, backed by investment of £100 million.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative funds 83 councils with the highest number of rough sleepers across the country.

Bidding for the fund opened on Monday 4 March and will close on Friday 29 March 2019.  The government will announce successful councils later this year.

Councils will be able to bid for the extra investment to fund innovative local schemes which help those sleeping rough and struggling with mental health problems or substance misuse issues into a home as a priority, and provide the wrap-around help they need get back on their feet.

Councils can use the funding to:

o Create teams of ‘Navigators’ – specialist support workers who will work tirelessly as a single point of contact to help people off the streets and into recovery by directing them to the services they need, such as mental health support, substance misuse counselling and housing advice services;
o Establish dedicated lettings agencies for rough sleepers – specialist agencies which provide homes and advice for those sleeping on the streets, supporting them into affordable and stable accommodation;
o Set up specialist rough sleeping Somewhere Safe to Stay ‘hubs’ – new hubs which will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery, including immediate shelter and tailored mental health support; and
o Introduce Supported Lettings schemes – helping vulnerable people sleeping rough to sustain tenancies – properties that they may not otherwise be able to access.

Further information, including the Fund’s prospectus and application form, is available on the GOV.UK website.