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Councils get extra £85m to stop people returning to streets

What it means and where we go from here

The government has announced an extra £85 million funding for councils to house homeless people in currently in emergency accommodation.

The aim is to prevent them from returning to the streets when the hotels and B&Bs, who are currently providing emergency bed spaces, re-open.

Our chief executive Mike Barrett says:

"This is welcome news that will bring many homeless people a step closer to leaving the streets behind for good. Porchlight will work with local authorities to get people into more permanent housing where they can continue rebuilding their lives.

"Tackling homelessness isn't just about putting a roof over people's heads - it's also about helping them to overcome the emotional trauma caused by rough sleeping and addressing issues that may have contributed to their situation. We've been providing this support to people in emergency accommodation, and it's important this continues when they're rehoused.

"It's why we'd also like to see long term ring-fenced funding for specialist supported housing where people can live whilst getting help to make longer lasting changes. Without it, many will be unable to overcome the issues they face and will eventually end up back on the street.

"This is particularly important because homelessness charities, whose services are already stretched, anticipate a real risk of more people becoming homeless when the ban on evictions is lifted in October.

"There is still so much work to be done to stop the scandal of rough sleeping in this country, but this funding is a positive start to helping many more people leave homelessness behind for good."

Porchlight was involved in the multi-agency effort to get rough sleepers into emergency accommodation when the lockdown was first announced. We worked with local authorities to help 130 people off the streets.

Last month, we were also one of many charities and housing providers to approach the government's rough sleeping task force (who acquired the new funding) to explain what steps must be taken.