Homelessness: Riverside’s response to new government initiative to reduce rough sleeping

On Friday, Sajid Javid set out a cross-government plan of action to reduce the number of people sleeping rough just as the Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force this week.

The new package of measures includes a new Rough Sleeping Team, a £30 million fund for 2018 to 2019 and £100,000 funding to support frontline Rough Sleeping workers.

Responding to the announcement, Simon Ketteridge, Director of Business Development for Riverside Care and Support, said “We welcome the funding announced on Friday and are pleased that the government is focussing on interventions that tackle the current rise in homelessness. 

“It is great to see a recognition of the importance of specialist inter-agency support for people with multiple and complex needs. Many people who are sleeping rough urgently need an expert and multi-disciplinary response to support them off the streets. The commitment to identify additional move-on accommodation for rough sleepers is also very welcome.  As both a social housing provider, and a specialist support and outreach provider, Riverside is committed to playing its part in making homes available for rough sleepers. 

“Short-term pilots and initiatives can be effective ways of testing new ideas.  However, they are not a replacement for funding programmes that local authorities can plan for and people who need services can rely on.  We look forward to more detail on how this funding will be allocated, and urge the government to enable local authorities to plan beyond this two-year timescale.

 “This initiative is in the context of a long awaited announcement on the future funding of supported housing.  Sustainable funding of good quality short-term supported housing, alongside other effective interventions that include street outreach and Housing First, is vital as part of an integrated response in reducing homelessness and tackling rough sleeping.”