On 28 May, I announced the next ‘phase’ of our response to homelessness – a plan for rehousing everyone who has been provided with emergency shelter during the coronavirus pandemic. As set out in the statement, the next phase will be accompanied by service transformation and I announced at that time up to £20m of additional funding, a combination of capital and revenue funding.
We asked every local authority in Wales to prepare a Phase Two plan which sets out how they will ensure that no one need return to the street, focussing on innovation, building and remodelling to transform the accommodation offer across Wales. Local authorities responded at tremendous pace, whilst also continuing to work tirelessly to support those in immediate need. I was pleased to see how far authorities went to embrace the significant level of change we all know is necessary in order transform our approach to preventing homelessness.
All twenty-two local authorities submitted applications covering over 230 individual projects and schemes, with a significant oversubscription to the original capital funding pot. This reflects the scale of ambition that we all have in grasping this opportunity to deliver a long term, sustainable and fundamental change to homelessness services in Wales. It also quite obviously demonstrates that the initial fund of £10.5m capital does not match our collective ambition.
I have been clear that I do not wish to see anyone forced to return to the streets. To this end, I am today announcing a substantial increase in the capital investment for the next phase of the homelessness response, to increase the overall capital funding available to up to £40m. This increases the overall homelessness phase 2 funding to up to £50m, which clearly demonstrates the level of commitment we have to ensuring we can make a truly significant and transformational step-change towards achieving our goal of ending homelessness in Wales.