Thank you for writing to me about the Government’s efforts to tackle homelessness. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I am proud to have been elected on a manifesto with commitments to tackle and to try to end rough sleeping, and I welcome the fact that almost 15,000 vulnerable people have been offered safe accommodation since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The reasons for homelessness are incredibly complex, and these reasons can also often affect an individual’s decision to seek care. A 2010 study on homelessness by Heriot-Watt University found that by the age of 16, 24 per cent of those surveyed had parents or carers with drug or alcohol problems, 22 per cent had experienced sexual abuse, 23 per cent had experienced physical abuse, and 27 per cent had witnessed violence between parents.
Furthermore, the Rough Sleeping Strategy, which commits to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027, outlines how rough sleeping costs the public purse between £14,300 and £21,200 per person per year. This is compared to approximately £4,600 for the average adult (based on 2014-15 prices). I believe it is imperative we do everything in our power to try to end rough sleeping purely on a moral and compassionate basis; but there are almost certainly long term benefits to the public purse too.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-rough-sleeping-strategy
In order to ensure as few as possible return to the street following coronavirus, the Next Steps Accommodation Programme makes available the financial resources needed to support local authorities and their partners. It includes capital for property costs and an attached long-term revenue stream to ensure people are supported into their new tenancies.
As I say, I am proud of our manifesto commitments aimed at trying to end rough sleeping, and I will continue to support measures designed to do so.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking