Like you, I firmly believe that just one person without a roof over their head is one too many, and I welcome the important work that Crisis does to help people find their way out of homelessness. Furthermore, I am glad that there is so much overlap between the ideas Crisis have raised in their recent report and the Government’s plan to end rough sleeping by 2027.
I share the view of Crisis that the Housing First approach to tackling homelessness has a record of being effective at helping people with high and complex needs. That is why I welcomed the recent launch of a £28 million pilot of Housing First, providing some of England’s most entrenched rough sleepers with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support. The impact of this pilot will be evaluated to inform any wider roll out of the Housing First approach.
On the issue of social housing, I welcome recent statistics which show that more than three times as much council housing has been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years. That said, I agree with Crisis that more needs to be done, and I am confident that the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme will help deliver more social housing, and look forward to the Government’s forthcoming green paper on the sector, expected this year.
I also recognise the important work that Crisis do in advising the Government on homelessness policy through the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, on which Crisis CEO John Sparkes sits. I am confident that, working together with leading experts on homelessness, the Government will achieve the aim of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.