HC Deb 04 November 1993 vol 231 cc322-3W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he proposes to make to the rough sleepers initiative.

Sir George Young

The Government have made £86 million available over 1993–94 to 1995–96 to continue the rough sleepers initiative. On 18 January this year my Department issued a discussion paper, "The Rough Sleepers Initiative: The Next Three Years", setting out proposals aimed at ensuring closer targeting of these resources on the initiative's client group. After considering the responses to that paper, I issued a strategy document on 16 June which set out the Government's intentions for the next phase. I have no plans to make further changes to the initiative. Copies of the discussion paper and the strategy document are in the Library.

Mr. Mullin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for the future of the rough sleepers initiative; how many people are currently accommodated by the scheme; and what will become of them when the scheme ends.

Sir George Young

The sum of £96 million has been spent over the past three financial years, 1990–91 to 1992–93, under the Government's rough sleepers initiative (RSI) to provide up to 3,450 places in permanent and temporary accommodation for people who would otherwise have slept rough on the streets of central London. Independent research, funded by my Department, found that several thousand people with a history of sleeping rough had been found accommodation through this initiative.

The Government have made £86 million available from 1993–94 to 1995–96 to continue the RSI. We will continue to concentrate resources on providing at least 1,500 further places in permanent housing. The temporary hostels and leased accommodation will be phased out over the next three years, but 3,300 places in permanent housing association homes provided under the RSI will continue to be available after the initiative ends in March 1996.