In a good-natured session on Housing and Levelling Up in Parliament today (27th June), I asked Housing Minister Eddie Hughes about preventing rough sleeping in the West Midlands.
First, I asked: “Whether he has had discussions with the Mayor of the West Midlands on steps his Department is taking to help rough sleepers into long-term accommodation.”
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Rough Sleeping, Eddie Hughes answered: “The first thing Andy Street did when he became Mayor of the West Midlands, was to convene a task force to tackle rough sleeping in the West Midlands.
“He is a valued member of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, I welcome his advice regularly, and this Government has supported the West Midlands with funding for a range of accommodation, including £1 million for new homes under the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme.”
I then followed up by saying: “I thank my Honourable Friend for that answer, and for mentioning the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street!
“The question I would like to ask now is: how does he assess the effectiveness of the Housing First Pilot, which he has initiated, in addressing rough sleeping in the West Midlands?”
Eddie Hughes replied: “Andy Street has been a strong champion of the Housing First Programme Pilots. That has already achieved 552 individuals securing a tenancy through the programme; that’s not just accommodation they’re provided with, but the incredibly vital support that’s necessary to help people sustain a tenancy.”