Councils must publish plans to tackle homelessness, government demands

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Leeds City Council will be urged to publish its plan to tackle homelessness by next year as part of the Government's plans to end rough sleeping.

All councils will be urged to publish detailed homelessness strategies by next winter which feed into the Government's aim to end rough sleeping by 2027.

The government aims to end rough sleeping by 2027

The government aims to end rough sleeping by 2027

Local authorities will be asked to set out how they plan to provide specialist support and accommodation for vulnerable people living on the street, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire announced.

The Government's action plan to combat rough sleeping also sets out measures to put work coaches into every Jobcentre Plus, as well as carrying out a survey into the links between homelessness and the LGBT community.

Ministers have also launched an £11 million fund to help councils get people off the streets and into secure accommodation.

Read more: The tragic stories behind the nine homeless people who died in Leeds over the past year
Mr Brokenshire said the plan sets the "foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027".

He said: "No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night.

"That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027. This new action plan sets out the next steps to making this goal a reality.

"And while we are already seeing progress, I am clear we must go further than ever to achieve our ambition of a country in which no-one needs to sleep rough."

This comes after the death of a rough sleeper in Leeds on Tuesday December 4, thought to be the ninth homeless person to die in Leeds over the past 15 months.

Read more: Shock and sadness as tributes are paid to homeless man who died in Leeds
Councils are calling for more funding to help them tackle the issue.

Martin Tett, Local Government Association housing spokesman, said: "Councils are determined to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping from happening in the first place and support families affected. This is becoming increasingly difficult with homelessness services facing a funding gap of more than £100 million in 2019/20.

"Proper resourcing of local government funding is essential if we are going to end rising homelessness."

Greg Beales, campaign director at homelessness charity Shelter, said: "While we welcome these new steps announced by the Government, we also need to be clear - this isn't a total fix for homelessness.

"We still need to tackle the shortage of genuinely affordable homes and housing benefit issues that lie at the root of this problem.

"If the Government wants to eradicate rough sleeping by 2027, there needs to be a bold new plan to build many more social homes as well as efforts to create real security for those struggling with their rent."