§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he proposes to extend his policies to help homeless people in London and the South East to the rest of the country; and if he has any plans to make available grants to match money raised by local voluntary organisations to establish hotels for the homeless; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Yeo
My Department is pursuing two initiatives to help homeless people in the particularly hard-pressed areas of London and the south-east: £96 million has been provided over three years to provide permanent and hostel accommodation and support for rough sleepers in central London; £300 million is available over two years to provide permanent housing for homeless families in London and the south-east. These special initiatives are additional to the Housing Corporations's special needs programme, which funds the provision of 3,000 places a year for homeless and other special needs. Under its hostels initiative the corporation has funded the provision of over 25,000 hostel places in the past 10 years. This year we have again doubled the amount available to voluntary organisations concerned with homelessness to over £4.5 million.