Supporting rough sleepers

On 17 March 2020, we announced £3.2 million in emergency support for rough sleepers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Public safety and protecting the most vulnerable people in society from coronavirus is our top priority.

We have announced an initial £3.2 million to ensure councils are able to put emergency measures in place to help rough sleepers to successfully self-isolate. It is a first step to ensure local authorities and frontline services are fully prepared with emergency measures in place.

Combating this virus will require a huge national effort. We must do all we can to save lives, protect the NHS and keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe.

We are doing this by:

Providing £3.2 million to help rough sleepers, or those at risk of rough sleeping, to successfully self-isolate. The funding will be available to all local authorities in England and will reimburse them for the cost of providing accommodation and services to those sleeping on the streets to help them successfully self-isolate.

Supporting local authorities to put emergency measures in place to deal with the spread of coronavirus. The funding is an initial step and the Government will continue to work closely with local authorities to keep this under review and ensure people have access to the support they need.

Helping shelters and hostels with the latest advice on tackling coronavirus. Public Health England has released guidance for providers of hostels and day centres on how to handle suspected cases of coronavirus to assist staff and visitors in dealing with the impact of the virus.


Conservative record on ending rough sleeping:

Providing £643 million over the next four years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The funding committed as part of the coronavirus response is in addition to the £492 million committed in 2020 to 2021 to support the government’s ambition to end rough sleeping in this Parliament, a £124 million increase in funding from the previous year. This forms part of £643 million in funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next four years.

Reducing rough sleeping, which has now fallen for two years in a row. We have commissioned an independent review of our Rough Sleeping Strategy by Dame Louise Casey and will expand the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) and Housing First Initiative, which have proven successful. Rough sleeping in areas where the RSI is active fell by a further 12 per cent last year, ahead of the national average fall of 9 per cent - the second annual fall in a row. For 2020-21, funding for the Rough Sleeping Initiative will be joined with the Rapid Rehousing Pathway and rise to £112 million – an uplift of £26 million.