A new £40million programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness, with prevention at its heart, has been announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today.

  • £20million for local authorities to pilot new initiatives to tackle homelessness in their area
  • £10million for targeted support for those at imminent risk of sleeping rough or those new to the streets
  • £10million in Social Impact Bonds to help long-term rough sleepers with the most complex needs

Southwark is one of three areas that have has been chosen as a ‘trailblazer’ and will receive £1million to pioneer new ideas to prevent homelessness.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “One person without a home is one too many, which is why we are launching this new £40m programme to tackle homelessness and prevent it happening in the first place.

“It will fund different projects around the country, preventing people from losing their home in the first place and helping to ensure that rough sleepers have somewhere safe to stay.”

Communities Minister, Marcus Jones said: “The longer a person stays homeless, the more complex their needs become and the harder it is to turn their lives around.

“That is why we are giving millions of pounds to targeted projects around the country, to drive our end to end approach to homelessness, helping families and individuals before they reach a crisis point, and supporting homeless people to turn their lives around.”.”

Southwark will conduct outreach work with people facing eviction from landlords or even by parents and friends. Those in need will be given a personal Housing Plan, a ‘how to find accommodation’ pack and other information and advice to secure accommodation.

The funding will change the focus from emergency response to investing in the long term, helping people before they lose their home.

The borough will go on to provide best practice, with their ideas shared across the country through a Prevention Hub and network of advisors.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for housing at Southwark Council, said, “We welcome any investment in preventing homelessness. As an inner London borough, Southwark is no stranger to the challenges of preventing and addressing homelessness, which is increasing in London and nationally. We are an innovative authority and have successfully bid for extra funding over the years in order to support people into appropriate housing, or prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place. We work with individuals and families, talking through their circumstances and looking at the complex reasons behind them in order to solve or prevent each case in a unique way.

“The £1m will be used to increase our pool of expertise, to continue to directly triage those at risk of homelessness, to ensure faster decision making and a greater range of options are available to people faced with desperate housing situations.”

Southwark has already benefitted from over half a million pound investment through central Government programmes to reduce homelessness. The Homelessness Transition Fund has supported a number of projects in the borough, including a new enterprise creating paid work for jobseekers that are currently, formerly or at risk of rough sleeping.

In addition to the prevention funding that has already been committed; Southwark can also bid for the two additional funding streams to help rough sleepers.