To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to make permanent the accommodation provision for vulnerable women leaving prison.
17 March 2021
We are investing more than £20m in supporting prison leavers at risk of homelessness into temporary accommodation. Individuals released from prison will be provided up to 12 weeks of temporary accommodation and will be supported into long-term settled accommodation before the end of that 12-week period. The service will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year and will be commencing in Summer. It will be in operation during the next financial year 2021-22, with a view to scaling up and rolling out nationally, though the Spending Review 2021 will set out the approach for future years.
The service will take account of the needs of women, including those with complex needs and accommodation provision will be dedicated to single gender usage as required. Community Offender Managers, working together with local partners, will be responsible for ensuring that vulnerable female prison leavers with complex needs receive appropriate support and are provided with housing beyond the 12 weeks emergency accommodation.
To support its COVID-19 response, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) set up seven Homelessness Prevention Taskforces (HPT) to help find accommodation for offenders upon release. HMPPS are considering how the regional HPTs might be a feature of the future landscape going forward.