London mayor confirms plans to help rough sleepers

The move aims to help former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse live independently.

Homelessness - Rough Sleeper

The Mayor of London has confirmed plans for the development of up to 200 homes – the first of which will be available this autumn – to help former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse leave hostels and refuges.

The Mayor’s ‘move on’ homes programme will build on City Hall’s wider work to help rough sleepers and support victims of violence against women and girls.

People will typically move from hostels and refuges into the new homes, where they will be supported as they start to live more independently, ahead of moving into permanent private rented or social housing.

The first two contracts, totalling up to £25m, have been awarded to providers One Housing Group and Resonance Real Lettings Property Fund, who are due to deliver 115 homes and up to 75 homes respectively.

The first homes are expected to be ready in early autumn, and the remainder started by March 2021.

Residents will be provided with support for mental health issues, financial management, finding employment, education or training opportunities, referrals to other agencies, and more.

Commenting on the announcement, Khan, said: “Once former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse have received the immediate support they need, the next priority is helping them move on from hostels and refuges into somewhere safe and stable to live.

“These homes will offer a vital stepping stone as they are supported to live more independently and move on with their lives.

“It is now crucial the government urgently funds longer-term accommodation for former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse.”

Martin D’Mello, group director of housing care and support at One Housing, said: “We are delighted that One Housing has been awarded one of the first move-on homes programme contracts to deliver 115 homes.

“One Housing has a long history of helping and supporting people get back on their feet. We provide homes, support, and care, which gives them the skills they need to move towards sustainable independence.

“We look forward to working with the Mayor to deliver this much needed housing and these vital services in London.”

Karen Shackleton, chair of Resonance, added: “The Resonance Property Funds have already housed nearly 2,000 individuals to date, of which 50% have been children, and this significant investment will enable us to support at least another 100 individuals to live independently and allow them to move on with their lives.”

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