Â£100m homeless plan '˜not enough' says Fareham charity CEO
THE government's plan to invest Â£100m into ending homelessness has been met with mixed reactions.
Charities and city leaders have welcomed the proposals but said theyÂ doÂ not do enough to help rough sleepers and the time-frame was too long.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire announced the plan would look to half the number of people living on the streets by the end of the administrationÂ and end it all together by 2027.
He also admitted none of the Â£100m was new money. Half is from the current housing budget while the other Â£50m had been previously announced.
Steve Benson, chief executive ofÂ charity Two Saints based in Fareham, said: '˜We welcome the government's recognition that they need to act to end rough sleeping.
'˜But we are concerned it isn't more ambitious. They are looking to end rough sleeping in 10 years but this could be achieved much sooner.
'˜It is disappointing as well the government isn't using new money for this plan.'
In yesterday's announcement, Mr Brockenshire said government will have a three-pronged approach to tackling rough sleepingÂ including prevention, intervening to help people already on the streets getÂ support and helping people rebuild their lives.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the city's Tory party, said: '˜Under the Conservatives' control, we found the moneyÂ to open a homeless shelter in Portsmouth all year round, ensuring there were enough beds for everyone.
'˜But in my experience itÂ isn't a lack of beds or support that prevent someone from having a permanent home of their own, in many cases it's a mental health issue.
'˜I hope the government recognises the need for support in both acute and community mental health to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.'
Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan dismissed the plan. He said: '˜This 'strategy' is no such thing. With the secretary of state appearing to confirm the supposed Â£100mÂ is really just clever accounting.
'˜It's little wonder his department has estimated it will be a decade before it can fix rough sleeping.'