Prince William announces five-year plan to end homelessness as he fulfils Diana's legacy

​Prince William

Prince William is launching his mission to end homelessness

Cameron Walker

By Cameron Walker

Published: 26/06/2023

- 07:42

Prince William will embark on a tour across the United Kingdom to unveil 'Homewards' at six locations

The Prince of Wales is fulfilling his mother's legacy by launching an ambitious plan to show the world that homelessness can be ended.

It is understood the future King personally instructed The Royal Foundation, which supports his work to tackle society's biggest challenges, to "find out how they can make a real impact" on the issue.

Hours of work and planning by The Prince and his team has produced a five-year commitment to make homelessness "rare, brief and unrepeated".

Prince William will embark on a tour across the United Kingdom to unveil 'Homewards' at six locations, selected to become blueprints for solutions to end homelessness.

These plans, The Royal Foundation hopes, can be replicated in other areas across the country and internationally.

The Prince of Wales said: "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".

Homewards will support each of the six locations with an "unprecedented" package, including up to £500,000 of "flexible seed funding" and access to a National Expert Panel.

The Prince's power to "bring people around the table" is expected to support local people, organisations and businesses to form "locally lead coalitions" who will work together to deliver a tailored plan to prevent homelessness in their areas.

A number of celebrity advocates including presenter Sara Cox and television personality Gail Porter will help His Royal Highness promote the programme.

Amanda Berry, CEO of The Royal Foundation, said: "We will bring together the brightest and the best partners to work with us and our six locations to demonstrate that together it is possible to end homelessness".

But Prince William has conceded ending homelessness is "a big task".

New research commissioned by The Royal Foundation suggests one in five of the UK public have some experience of homelessness - either directly or via family or friends.

Existing data estimates that over 300,000 people - nearly half of whom are children - are currently sofa surfing, sleeping rough, living in cars, or staying in hostels and other types of temporary accommodation.

It is understood The Prince of Wales has recently spoken to Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales and the chief civil servant of Northern Ireland about his homelessness project.

Royal aides insist the future King is firmly staying out of politics and indicate his plan to prevent homelessness is "additive" to what local government and charities are already doing.

Homeless charity Shelter believes building permanent new homes and investing in social housing is an important step to prevent homelessness.

Prince William has revealed in his Sunday Times interview that he is looking at ways in which The Duchy of Cornwall (which funds his public, charitable and private activities) can provide social housing, but work appears to be in the very early stages.

Prince William

The Prince of Wales wants local people, organisations and businesses to form 'locally lead coalitions'


The Duchy of Cornwall spans a vast 135,000 acres across Britain, and the Prince of Wales has a home at Kensington Palace in London, Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, and Anmer Hall in Norfolk.

The extended Royal Family also owns a number of other properties, which has led to some criticism from anti-monarchists about the institution's wealth during a cost-of-living crisis.

A spokesperson for The Prince of Wales told GB News: "The Prince of Wales is in a very fortunate position. He has been shining a light on [homelessness] for decades. He could sit there and continue to shine a light on it, or he could make a big gesture, or do what some people would see as a 'PR stunt'. But this is about creating a programme that is truly sustainable and that will create systemic change in the homelessness system."

"This is about changing people's minds and opinions on what homelessness is, but this is really about creating long-term change within the homelessness sector. That's why His Royal Highness worked so closely with the people who designed this programme, because it can really cut through and make real impact."

Homewards is also aiming to "reframe the way people think about homelessness in the UK" with a particular focus on so-called "hidden homelessness" and being optimistic that the issue can be prevented.

The Prince of Wales will travel to all six locations over the next two days.

The five-year project is thought to be just the start of the Prince's life-long passion to end homelessness.

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