Housing First project: more than £2.5 million additional funding secured to support rough sleepers

The scheme has helped 526 individuals so far across the region by taking them off the streets

West Midlands’ flagship project to support rough sleepers has received millions more in funding.

More than £2.5 million has been secured for the region’s flagship Housing First project to continue supporting hundreds of people who had previously been sleeping rough. This move will help especially with a cost of living crisis in progress - when many people are struggling to make ends meet and are at risk of homelessness.

The scheme has helped 526 individuals so far across the region by taking them off the streets and getting them access to better supportive services.

This additional funding comes on top of an initial £9.6m which was awarded to the West Midlands Housing First programme. The extra funding will ensure that the pilot project carries on and in making sure those people who have already been given a roof over their head can continue to build their life away from the street.

From left, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, talks to housing clients Martin and Ryan, with Eddie Hughes MP

The West Midlands scheme places individuals directly into independent tenancies without needing them to progress through transitional housing programmes. They are offered the choice of where to live and wraparound support, with the evidence showing that this leads to positive outcomes.

The government announced the funding as part of its new Rough Sleeping Strategy to drive forward its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping for good.

What Birmingham City Council said

Councillor Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for Housing and Homelessness at Birmingham City Council and chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Homelessness Taskforce Members Advisory Group, said: “The cost of living crisis will mean that many more people are at risk of homelessness and it will put a big additional strain on all council services. So Birmingham City Council welcomes the extension and extra funding provided for the Housing First scheme as part of the Government’s new strategy to end rough sleeping for good.”

What West Midlands’ Mayor said about it

Andy Street

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Since the very start of my time in office, I have made tackling homelessness a key part of my mayoral mission. The regional Housing First scheme has contributed to reducing rough sleeping across the West Midlands, thanks to some brilliant collaborative work – but there is still more that needs to be done.

“With the additional £2.5m secured for the Housing First scheme in the West Midlands, it gives us the chance to deepen the support we offer to those who have fallen on tough times to rebuild their lives.”

How did the scheme start

In 2018, £28 million was allocated to the WMCA, Greater Manchester (GMCA) and Liverpool City Region (LCRCA). Pilots were set up to find out if this type of intervention could be successful in supporting those with a long history of rough sleeping.

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