Prince William has launched a five-year project to end long-term homelessness in the United Kingdom. He plans to use 1,30,000-acre land of his Duchy of Cornwall estate for public housing.
William launched the initiative, called Homewards, by visiting pilot projects that have received grants of up to 500,000 pounds ($637,000) each from the Royal Foundation, the charity that supports his and his wife, Kate’s work.
All of the initiatives, with more to be unveiled, involve collaborative efforts between local people, organisations and businesses to develop programs built as per the needs of their communities.
The new initiative aims to learn from countries such as Finland that have virtually eliminated homelessness. These nations have been able to do it partly by ensuring that people in crisis get permanent housing before helping them overcome other issues such as substance abuse.
William announced the plan as rising rents and a shortage of affordable housing have pushed more people into homelessness amid the biggest decline in living standards since World War II. More than 300,000 people throughout the UK have no permanent housing on any given night. These include people that are sleeping on the streets, living in cars, staying in hostels or temporarily seeking help from family and friends.