Rural Homelessness raised in Parliament

In the last week, Sir John Hayes posed a written question to the Government asking:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to reduce homelessness in rural areas.”

Felicity Buchan, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing and Homelessness responded to the question.

“The Government understands there are housing needs that can be particular to rural areas and that homelessness in rural areas can present different challenges to cities.

Our cross-government strategy, ‘Ending Rough Sleeping for Good’, published in September 2022, sets out how we are investing £2 billion over three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, including over £530 million of Rough Sleeping Initiative 2022-25 funding to local authorities across England. Our funding programmes are based on an approach tailored to local need, providing local authorities with the flexibility to invest in tailored support and services to meet their local area needs.

At Autumn Statement 2023, the Government announced additional funding of £120 million to help councils address Ukraine and homelessness pressures in 2024/25. This will help local authorities deliver statutory duties through providing financial support for people to find a new home, working with landlords to prevent evictions, or providing temporary accommodation, including in rural communities.”

The Rural Services Network was part of a group of organisations that commissioned research into rural homelessness.  This research found that housing costs in affluent rural areas are driving an unseen crisis, where the “shame and stigma” of homelessness keep countless vulnerable individuals out of official statistics.  In addition, 80% of organisations in rural areas believe a lack of funding/resources is the main obstacle to addressing homelessness in their area.

The RSN is now part of the Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition which aims to tackle the hidden crisis of rural homelessness.

You can find out more at this link


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