Boris Johnson determined to end homelessness ‘once and for all’ as he appoints top adviser who tackled it under Blair


BORIS Johnson vows to end rough sleeping “once and for all” as he reappoints a homelessness czar who tackled the scourge twenty years ago.

Dame Louise Casey will take up the same role she had two decades ago which saw a relentless drive by then PM Tony Blair manage to cut homelessness by two thirds and rough sleeping by three quarters.

 Boris Johnson is determined to end rough sleeping as he reappoints homelessness czar Dame Louise Casey to tackle the issue

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Boris Johnson is determined to end rough sleeping as he reappoints homelessness czar Dame Louise Casey to tackle the issueCredit: AFP or licensors

The Prime Minister has also announced an extra £236million to help get people off the streets and into permanent housing.

Speaking ahead of a visit to a homelessness charity today the Prime Minister said: “It is simply unacceptable that we still have so many people sleeping on the streets, and I am absolutely determined to end rough sleeping once and for all.”

“Today I’ve announced extra funding to help thousands more people get off the streets, and I have appointed Dame Louise Casey as an adviser to undertake an urgent review into the causes of rough sleeping and provide expert advice on vital next steps.”

“We must tackle the scourge of rough sleeping urgently, and I will not stop until the thousands of people in this situation are helped off the streets and their lives have been rebuilt.”

The cash will go to “Housing First style ‘move on’ accommodation” which acts as a stepping-stone between hostels and independent living for up to 6,000 rough sleepers. Funding will provide new homes, and to rent private properties for rough sleepers.

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A No.10 source added: “This really shows how much of a priority this is for Prime Minister, and to bring forward the date to end rough sleeping.”

New figures yesterday showed that there were 4,677 rough sleepers in England in 2018, but BBC research suggests the figure is closer to 28,000.

Dame Louise Casey said: “Homelessness and within that rough sleeping, is something that causes misery so I hope that I will be able to help the Government and the country expedite action on this issue.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “I’m determined that we end rough sleeping in this Parliament, meeting our moral obligation to support the most vulnerable in society.”

“We will be bringing together housing, addiction, mental health and the criminal justice system as never before to tackle this social ill from every angle.

“The coordinated effort that we will now pursue, beginning with this review, builds on the progress we have made in recent years, reducing the number of people sleeping on the streets.”

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