Having offered accommodation to over 90% of roughsleepers since the start of the pandemic, this week I was pleased to see that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that 6,000 more homes are to be made available for vulnerable rough sleepers, so that they can move into long term, stable accommodation after the crisis is over. This is the most ambitious intervention of its kind, and the most significant reform since the rough sleepers initiative began in the 1990s. It will be backed by £433 million of government funding, with 3,300 homes to be made available in the next 12 months. These homes will be a permanent national asset, symbols of hope and opportunity for those looking to turn their lives around and the determination of our country to end roughsleeping.
Before the last election, I launched my "Towns of the future" campaign to support our local high streets. As shops and businesses now prepare to reopen on 1st and 15th June, we have launched a new £50 million fund to help local councils get high streets and town centres ready. The Government has published detailed guidance for local councils on how public spaces can be reworked to ensure everyone is as safe as possible.
Finally, this week, MHCLG published details of the new £1 billion Building Safety Fund, which will help remove non-ACM cladding at pace, building on the £600 million ACM fund. This is a part of the biggest changes to building safety in a generation. The fund will meet the cost for unsafe non-ACM cladding on residential buildings that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with building regulations. The move has been widely praised by the construction sector since being announced.