The Duke of Cambridge is said to be exploring the option of using Duchy of Cornwall buildings to help those who have fallen off the property ladder. He has long championed the cause of ending homelessness, a desire which appears to have been renewed by lockdowns imposed in the wake of Covid.
Prince Charles is the current owner of the Duchy of Cornwall estate.
Revenue from the estate is used to fund his own and his family’s charitable activities.
Prince William, 39, will automatically inherit the estate when his father becomes King.
The Telegraph reports that he has asked staff to explore how buildings – particularly those in urban areas – could be used to help the homeless.
A royal source told the paper: “The Duke is interested in finding ways to help alleviate the homelessness situation in any way he can.”
Prince William has spent much of his professional life working with homeless charities.
In 2005, he became patron of Centrepoint which provides housing and support primarily for young people in a number of regions across the UK.
Four years later, he spent a night ‘sleeping rough’ with the organisation’s Chief Executive to experience being homeless.
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Following this, a St James’s Palace spokesman, quoted in the Guardian, said: “Prince William took away from the experience the importance of tackling all the issues that cause people to be homeless and stay homeless, from drug dependency to mental health problems.”
More recently, in September this year, Prince William told the Passage charity that the importance of eradicating homelessness had been highlighted by the Covid pandemic.
He said: “The last 18 months of the pandemic have shown us how much we rely on each other to get by – and just how strong our communities can be when we work together to get things done…
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“As we emerge from the pandemic, we now need to continue that collaboration to prevent and end homelessness.”
The Duke first visited The Passage homeless shelter in 1993 with his brother Prince Harry and their mother Princess Diana.
He is now a patron of the charity.
Crisis estimated that around 227,000 people were experiencing homelessness – including rough sleeping, sleeping in vans and sheds and being stuck in B&Bs – in England, Scotland and Wales in 2021.
But homelessness is notoriously hard to quantify and the true figure could be much higher.