A £100 million government fund to tackle homelessness has been broadly welcomed by Swindon charity workers.

Yesterday, ministers admitted half the cash had already been promised to projects aimed at reducing the number of homeless families and rough sleepers, while £50m was new funding. The government hopes to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027.

Launching the homelessness strategy, the prime minister said on Monday it would help people leaving prisons, with mental health needs and those who find themselves homeless after fleeing domestic abuse. Some of the money would be used to build new homes for those who have slept rough or are living in hostels.

Campaigners have welcomed the new funding, but said ministers needed to go further.

And in Swindon, where a census last year counted 45 rough sleepers, homelessness chiefs have cautiously backed the government announcement.

Rosemary Curtis, convenor of homelessness umbrella group HOSTS, said: “This is potentially really exciting news. The key to making the most of any funding is collaborative working that we are currently developing in Swindon.

“I’m really excited. I think we’re at the tipping point.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of charity Shelter, said: "This strategy is an important step forward in the fight against the rough sleeping emergency that's led to people dying on our streets.

"But let's be clear, this is a step forward and not a total fix for homelessness. We still need to tackle the chronic lack of genuinely affordable homes, deep instability of renting and problems with housing benefit that are leaving so many without a home."

Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said: “To end rough sleeping for good the government will need to ensure this plan is built on and prioritises tackling the structural causes of homelessness including action on reducing poverty, urgently addressing the chronic shortage of low cost housing and ensuring an effective welfare safety net.”

Earlier this summer, Swindon Borough Council was awarded £195,000 by central government. Much of the funding will be used to re-run the temporary winter housing project first trialled at the former Carfax medical centre last winter, which offered beds and intensive support for a dozen rough sleepers.

Cabinet member for housing Cathy Martyn, who is developing the council’s rough sleeper strategy, said at the time: “A lot of the work the council does to tackle homelessness goes unseen, but our housing team and our partners are working tirelessly to help those people in need. Our temporary winter housing provision and associated work with this year’s group of individuals has demonstrated our ability to develop new approaches and has been a key part of our bid that has helped draw in additional funding for Swindon.”

However, Graeme Willis, chief executive of homelessness charity Threshold, has questioned the effectiveness of the winter project. In a memo sent to borough councillors he said just one in three rough sleepers referred to the scheme were accepted onto it and just five were placed in long-term housing when the shelter closed.

Threshold was still regularly supporting up to 50 rough sleepers in the town. “Without additional facilities and a coherent strategy these numbers will continue to rise,” he said.