Budget: successful homelessness scheme left unfunded – Crisis response

Today, the Chancellor has set out the UK government’s Autumn Budget, including a commitment of £639m by 2024-25 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.  

However, no further funding was committed for the three highly successful Housing First pilots, whose funding ends next year. They are providing housing and support to more than 1000 people in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and West Midlands Combined Authority.   

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We welcome the funding announced today to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness but it is vital this money is used to most effectively prevent and end homelessness for good. 

“What is more, more than a thousand people successfully housed through Housing First schemes are still waiting to know if they will have a place to live next year, after continued funding for the pilots is left unconfirmed. 

“It is vital that the UK government quickly clarifies the pilots’ future and councils use the money announced today to most effectively prevent and end homelessness. We know that investing in Housing First gives people most entrenched in rough sleeping the best chance to leave the streets behind for good.” 

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

Housing First works by providing people with a long term home as soon as possible, along with open-ended support to keep it. Unlike other homelessness schemes, Housing First does not require people to prove they are ‘tenancy ready’ before accessing mainstream housing.  

For people with multiple issues relating to disability, trauma and addiction this means they do not have to first move up through different types of temporary and supported accommodation and agree to any suggested treatment before moving into their home. 

By September 2020, collectively the three Housing First pilots in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and West Midlands Combined Authority had housed 450 people, with 88% of clients sustaining tenancies across the programme.