London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a £50m fund to help homeless people move on from hostels or refuges.
The funding, part of the £3.15bn Affordable Homes Programme announced in the Autumn Statement, will be used for the building of about 1,000 new homes and the refurbishment of existing ones.
The mayor-funded homes will run on two-year tenancies and will help free up hostel and refuge places for people needing a wider support.
Khan is also allocating funding for a specialist service in aid of vulnerable female rough sleepers – the Female Hidden Homeless Project, which will be run by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
“Rising levels of homelessness and rough sleeping in London are beyond shameful in one of the richest cities in the world and it’s a sad fact that for years some of London’s most vulnerable people have been let down and ignored.
“Homelessness is a complicated problem and it will take time to turn things around, but I’m determined we do everything we can to support people from becoming homeless and help them if they do.”
Khan spoke during a visit to specialist service Marylebone which offers 112 beds for homeless women and victims of domestic abuse as well as training to support users into independent living.
The mayor added:
“Rough sleeping can be very dangerous, and homeless women are particularly vulnerable to abuse, which is why the specialist services provided by places like the Marylebone Project and the Female Hidden Homeless Project that I am supporting are much needed.”
The London mayor invests a further £9m per year in services for rough sleepers and recently launched the ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ taskforce involving boroughs, the Government and key agencies working on solutions to tackle the widespread homelessness in the capital.