Chloe Smith: At the election I said that I wanted a decent home for everyone in Norwich. This budget represents another step on the road to securing this goal.
The Chancellor has announced investment of £100 million to deliver low-cost ‘second stage’ accommodation for rough sleepers leaving hostels and for domestic abuse victims and their families moving on from refuges. We’re also providing £10 million to prevent and reduce rough sleeping, doubling the funding for the Rough Sleeping Social Impact Bond from £5 million to £10 million and taking action to assist rough sleeping EU migrants to return to their home country.
I welcome this move, which builds upon the work of the Autumn Statement last year, in which the Chancellor announced that councils would receive £10 million a year more, upfront, so they can provide more help to homeless people. This was on top of over £500 million already available to give councils and the voluntary sector the tools needed to tackle homelessness. The £20 million Homelessness Transition Fund, for instance, is helping the national roll-out of the 'No Second Night Out' scheme, ensuring that rough sleepers do not spend more than one night on the street. Alongside this, the 'Street Link' initiative provides a national hotline to connect rough sleepers to local services.
Other examples include £10 million provided to the National Homelessness Advice service and £8 million for the Help for Single Homeless Fund. It is estimated that this will help 22,000 people in 168 areas across England by April 2016. A total of £55 million has also been made available for the 'Platform for Life' programme as well as 'Homelessness Change', which provides tailored hostel accommodation to improve the physical and mental health of rough sleepers and supports them towards independent living.
Homelessness is an unacceptable problem and one which has no place in modern Britain. I welcome the £100 million of additional funding and as ever I am fully supportive of the fantastic work done by local charities and other organisations here in Norwich.