A £100 MILLION plan to help end rough sleeping on England’s streets has been welcomed by Hampshire civic leaders.

Launched by the government, the scheme will offer cash for mental health and addiction support as well as help with accommodation.

Westminster chiefs say it will focus on stopping people becoming homeless in the first place, with “swift, targeted support” to get those in crisis off the streets and into long-term housing.

The strategy includes £50 million for homes outside London for people ready to move on from hostels or refuges and £30 million for mental health support for rough sleepers.

However, it is currently unclear how much the Hampshire or Southampton will receive.

The strategy has also been welcomed by homelessness charities, who said it was a significant step towards meeting the Conservative manifesto commitment to halve rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament and eliminate it by 2027.

However, they warned it will not provide a “total fix”, which would require a significant increase in social housing, more security for renters and the reversal of policies which leave migrants homeless.

Labour city councillor Satvir Kaur, homes chief, said: “I am pleased that the government are listening to places like Southampton who have been calling for more early intervention and prevention measures to tackle homelessness.

“This strategy is a step in the right direction.

“However, it is unclear how far this money will actually go nationwide? There are still fundamental route causes to homelessness such as a lack of genuine affordable homes, severe impacts of the welfare reforms and cuts to public health which also need to be addressed and properly resourced for cities like Southampton to see a meaningful and long lasting difference.

“Here in Southampton we have aimed to work holistically and have been proactive in trying to tackle homelessness by working with partners from both the voluntary and private sector; while encouraging local residents to give to local homelessness charities that do amazing work every day in our communities.”

The announcement comes amidst a significant movement to end homelessness in Southampton.

Earlier this year, plans for a city-wide ‘rough sleeping charter’ was announced.

A new website was also launched, to give information to the city’s homeless about ways in which members of the public can give help.

But, Hampshire County Council bosses want to slash funding, by cutting support for homeless people with “less critical” needs.

It says it can save £1.8 million with the changes, but claimed it would continue to spend £2.4 million to help those most in need.

Conservative county councillor Liz Fairhurst, social care and health boss, said: “As a commissioner of support for those who are homeless, or at risk of being so, the government’s announcement is welcome.

“We recognise how vital the right help is, and work closely with district and borough councils, who have a statutory duty to ‘prevent and relieve’ homelessness, to provide this.

“As with many of our services, we are having to look at how we continue to support the most vulnerable within a reduced budget – any additional help from government in this area can only be a good thing, although of course, we will need to await further details of how much the Hampshire region might receive before we can be clear on the impact it will have.”

Around 4,751 people are estimated to sleep rough on any given night in England.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Nobody should have to sleep rough and that’s why we must do all we can to help the most vulnerable in our society get the support they need.

“But we recognise this is a complex issue – as well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, we have to deal with underlying problems and ultimately help people turn their lives around.”