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Budget funding to help homeless

The Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has welcomed the publication of Budget 2021. The charity said measures outlined in the budget deliver on calls for a more ambitious and enlarged social housing programme, and a significant programme of capital investment in key areas such as education, health and housing.

Reacting to Budget 2021 Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We warmly welcome Budget 2021. It delivers major investment in several key areas such as housing, education and health. It will enable local authorities and housing charities to make major progress in providing critical housing pathways to people in homelessness and on social housing waiting lists.”

The McVerry Trust also welcomed the increase in the funds for key homeless services such as cold weather supports, day services, and emergency accommodation for people impacted by homelessness saying, “These funds will ensure that our local authority partners can continue to work with NGOs to deliver the new capacity needed this winter and into 2021.”

Regarding the Housing Assistance Payment scheme (HAP) Mr Doyle noted, “The increase in funding for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and tenancies under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), will enable more people to exit homelessness through the private rental sector, and as a result reduce pressures on existing homeless emergency accommodation services.”

Pat Doyle also noted that housing remains a core priority for the government, given the proposals in the 2021 budget which he says “recognises that major capital investment in social housing will not only help to meet housing needs but also drive economic recovery into the future.”

The commitment to increase targets for one-bed social housing delivery was singled out for special mention by the Trust. ” We particularly welcome this development as it will strengthen the delivery of the Housing First programme, which offers secure housing pathways and wraparound supports for rough sleepers and those experiencing long-term homelessness.”

Concluding, Mr Doyle said “Additional funding for education, mental health and drug treatment services will also make a difference to the fight against homelessness. The reduction in class sizes will lead to better educational outcomes for vulnerable young people. Increased provision of mental health and drug treatment services will also benefit people who we work with and support.”