The Prince of Wales also confirmed plans to build social housing on the 128,000-acre Duchy of Cornwall Estate in a bid to tackle homelessness in the UK.
Entitled “Homewards”, Prince William is heading up the £3m social housing project with the hope of eradicating rough sleeping and temporary accommodation in a Finland-style vision.
Six regions will be allocated a share of the £3m funding: Sheffield, Aberdeen, Northern Ireland, Newport (Wales), Bournemouth/Christchurch/Poole, and Lambeth in South London.
The project is expected to take up to five years to complete with each area receiving £500,000, testing new ways to unlock homes at scale.
Speaking about the Project, Prince William told the press; “It’s a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief, and unrepeated and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations to make our ambition a reality.”
When asked whether there were plans to develop social housing on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate, which Prince William inherited following the Queens death, he responded, “There is. Absolutely. Social housing. You’ll see that when it’s ready.”
Prince William will be working alongside the Royal Foundation to deliver the project, hoping to prove that ending homelessness is possible and if successful – he plans to scale up the model throughout the country and beyond.
Prince William's homelessness efforts
The Prince of Wales is the patron for two homelessness charities: Centrepoint (since 2005) and The Passage (since 2019).
His journey in supporting the homeless began in 1993 when Princess Diana took him on a royal visit to Centrepoint, showcasing the efforts of those working in the sector.
Since then, the Prince has been spotted sleeping on the streets of London in 2009 and even selling the Big Issue around the country.
"I am fortunate to have seen first-hand the tireless work of people and organisations across the sector, the tangible impact their efforts can have and what can be done when communities are able to focus on preventing homelessness, rather than managing it”.
It has been one of Prince William’s priorities to change the way people think about rough sleepers, however, his plans have been met with criticism with many believing this should be a Government issue rather than a philanthropic cause.
Social Housing in the UK
Around 300,000 people every day are believed to be sleeping rough in the UK. Social housing is an affordable alternative to private renting for those who are in need.
Currently, four million homes have been identified as social houses in the UK, a statistic which has decreased by 3% over the last 20 years.
“In a modern and progressive society, everyone should have a safe and secure home, be treated with dignity and given the support they need.” Commented the Prince.
Chartered Building Surveyors work with a number of social housing landlords, councils, and developers on social housing projects – helping to deliver bespoke new accommodation across the country.
Our team delivered Reinstatement Cost Assessment services on behalf of a Social Housing landlord to help ensure the longevity, safety, and functionality of the portfolio of properties.
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