Croydon is to receive £1,490,858 from the government’s drug strategy housing support fund, it was announced today.
Croydon is one of only two London boroughs (the other is Westminster) included among 28 local authorities receiving the money, allocated from a £53million fund. The government says that in allocating the money, it “targeted” those areas of greatest need.
The grants are part of a three-year trial, drawing from recommendations contained in an independent review by Dame Carol Black which assessed the housing needs of people in treatment with drug or alcohol dependence.
“Learning from these areas will inform and drive forward the 10-year drugs strategy, making the case for safe and supportive housing in recovery from addiction,” Dame Carol said today.
The funding should allow for those in alcohol and drug recovery to have access to housing support, “helping to break the cycle of addiction and improve health outcomes”, according to the government announcement from the departments for Levelling Up and for Health.
“People in treatment for drug and alcohol dependence are often easier to support if their housing needs are addressed at the same time, as there is a strong link between having a stable home and improved treatment outcomes,” the government said.
The schemes will see specialist housing caseworkers working with people in drug and alcohol treatment, helping to create sustainable and long-term recovery by maintaining independent living.
“We’re supporting those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction by addressing the link between improved treatment outcomes and a stable home,” said the health secretary, Steve Barclay.
Barclay said that the funding has “targeted… local authorities with the greatest need”.
Health Minister, Neil O’Brien, said: “Alcohol and drug dependence can have a devastating impact on the lives of people, their families and wider society. It is essential to break this cycle of addiction.
“The £53million housing support funding will play a key role in testing how housing can help break this cycle, improve recovery and help people to live happier and healthier lives.”
Rosanna O’Connor, the director of addictions and inclusion at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, said: “We have known, for too long, that people in drug treatment with housing problems do less well in their recovery. What we know less about is how to address these problems. For the first time, dedicated funding is available to improve housing support.”
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The war on drugs is ineffective and counterproductive, just like the prohibition of alcohol was in the USA a century ago.
But if the government insists it continues, let’s have mandatory testing of every MP every month, along with random alcohol breath tests before every Commons vote.
Does the £1.5m go to Croydon Council?
What’s can make sure that the money is not just syphoned it off for their own purposes and none of the money will benefit addicts?
”Housing First” has been a standard policy in enlightened social democracies for some time, to address the linked problems of addiction, homelessness, mental illness and unemployment. A secure place to live provides the foundation and stable basis from which the other problems can be much more effectively and successfully addressed. Sad that Croydon needs the help more than most, glad that it is finally being supported by government [rather than charitable] funding for the first time.