• Shared Accomodation Rate

    08 July 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR).

    I firmly believe that nobody should be without a roof over their head. That is why I welcome the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping for good, with the aim of halving it by 2022.

    As far as I am aware, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has no plans at present to extend the exemption from the SAR to people aged under 25. I would note that there are already a number of exemptions to the SAR, such as for those with children or non-dependents, certain homeless people, and those requiring overnight care, or receive the middle or higher rate of Disability Living Allowance or the daily living component of a Personal Independent Payment. The DWP has also provided around £1 billion in Discretionary Housing Payment funding since 2011, enabling local authorities to protect the most vulnerable.

    Last summer, the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy was published. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

    In December 2018, the Government launched the Rapid Rehousing Pathway which will help rough sleepers, and those at risk of rough sleeping, to access the support and settled housing they need to leave the streets for good. The Pathway includes Somewhere Safe to Stay Hubs, which are centres where people can seek shelter while their housing and support needs are assessed. Specialist Navigators will also be assigned to work with up to 1,600 rough sleepers to support them in getting settled accommodation, access local services and sustain a life away from the streets. Lastly, the Pathway provides support to local lettings agencies and support lettings to help rough sleepers into affordable, settled accommodation and help them sustain their tenancies

    I know this is not the answer you are hoping for, but I can assure you that action is being taken to tackle homelessness and I will continue to support improvements.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons