Homeless help reaches out of London

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The Independent Online
Funding to help the "hard core" who sleep rough in the streets is to be extended to towns and cities outside London, the housing minister, David Curry, said yesterday.

Some pounds 23m earmarked for the Government's six-year-old Rough Sleepers' Initiative (RSI) will be used to tackle the problem outside the capital. The move follows a survey by the homeless charity Shelter commissioned by the Government.

Grants will be made to the voluntary sectors in Bath, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Ealing, Exeter, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Richmond- upon-Thames. The RSI will also be extended in London and a new RSI zone will be created in Brighton.

However, the measures were criticised by Louise Casey, Shelter's director of housing. She said: "These resources will only tackle the visible side of Britain's homeless problem. In January we will have the worst housing act ever past coming into operation. This will mean people have less access to permanent housing."