The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has today announced funding for up to 800 new homes for rough sleepers with complex needs and young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Sadiq announced the funding during a visit to a Crisis at Christmas service in Newham, where he met Crisis and St Mungo’s staff, people who have recently been sleeping rough and representatives from IKEA and Asda who have joined the Mayor in his fight against homelessness.
This is the second year City Hall has worked in partnership with Crisis and St Mungo’s to coordinate a successful extension of Crisis at Christmas. Typically, Crisis at Christmas comes to an end shortly after the new year. The extension means guests have had somewhere safe and warm to stay until mid-January during some of the coldest weeks of the year, while receiving support from Crisis and St Mungo’s to end their homelessness for good.
Last year 76 per cent of the people staying in the extension service did not immediately return to the street and City Hall has been working with London boroughs to ensure this year is equally successful. The City Hall Rough Sleeping team has secured a commitment from all London boroughs to maximise accommodation options for people following their stay at Crisis at Christmas.
The Mayor has been allocated around £75m of Government funding to deliver up to 800 homes for Londoners who have previously been sleeping rough. The funding was made available through the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) and will deliver homes and support for young homeless people and rough sleepers with complex mental health or substance dependency issues – two groups of Londoners whose needs are currently not being fully met.
Housing associations, local authorities, charities and others who have an ambition to develop SHAP homes will be able to bid for the funding later this financial year. Individual funding allocations will be approved by Government and City Hall.
Londoners who have previously been sleeping rough, such as those supported by Crisis at Christmas this winter, will benefit directly from this programme.
This new accommodation will be supplied alongside the successful Rough Sleeping Accommodation and Move On programmes, which have already delivered more than 1,000 homes for rough sleepers in the capital.
The Mayor has brought together business partners to provide rough sleepers who are moving out of the service and into their own homes with the practical supplies they need. During the visit, he met with IKEA, Asda, and the Good Things Foundation, all of whom have donated supplies to ensure people get the best possible start as they move out of Crisis at Christmas and into long-term accommodation.
IKEA kindly donated kitchen supplies including pots and pans, cutlery, mugs and glasses, along with home furnishings such as duvets, towels and blankets. Asda donated toiletries and a range of food items, such as soup, pasta and noodles. The Good Things Foundation, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone donated sim cards and mobile phones.
Sadiq is also urging Londoners to donate whatever they can to his annual winter fundraising campaign and to help connect people they see sleeping rough with local support services using the Streetlink website or app.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Since becoming Mayor, I’ve made it a personal priority to tackle rough sleeping and we’ve helped a record 13,500 people off the streets through our support services as we work to build a fairer London for all. But the hard work doesn’t stop here and I’m pleased that City Hall has secured funding to deliver up to 800 homes for Londoners sleeping rough.
“I’m also delighted that IKEA, Asda and The Good Foundation have joined me in my fight against homelessness in the capital by donating essential supplies like bedding, crockery and food to give those people moving into long term accommodation the best possible chance at a fresh start. On behalf of all Londoners, I also want to thank Crisis and St Mungo’s for their tireless efforts supporting some of the most vulnerable in our city.
“We can’t do this alone, and to end rough sleeping in our capital, particularly amid the cost of living crisis, the Government must intervene to prevent the circumstances that lead to people sleeping rough before thousands more are forced to face a winter on the streets.”