Kerslake Commission progress report published

05 October 2022

The Kerslake Commission has published its September 2022 progress report. The Commission, chaired by Sir Bob Kerslake, was established in 2021 to examine the lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the covid-19 pandemic. ‚Äč

The report assesses the impact of recent announcements and events on efforts to end rough sleeping. It gives examples of the ways in which rough sleeping can be and has been prevented in the context of both the  cost of living and energy crisis.

Significantly, the report calls on government to introduce a new temporary moratorium on evictions, to ensure that no one is made homeless as a result of the spiralling cost of living. The Commission expects that councils and housing associations should voluntarily take this forward, regardless of whether an eviction moratorium is introduced.

The report’s specific recommendations for housing associations are:

  • The report makes welcome reference to the housing association Commitment to Refer, facilitated by the NHF, and its updated guidance to clarify rules around data protection. Housing associations should sign up to the Commitment to Refer households at risk of homelessness.
  • There should be scrutiny from the Regulator of Social Housing on reducing evictions and abandonments from housing associations. This should be with a recognition that there are occasions when housing providers unavoidably need to evict where the risk cannot be mitigated, though this should not be eviction to the street.

Housing associations have made a long-term commitment to keep their residents secure at home and not to evict people experiencing hardship, and are implementing many initiatives to help residents deal with the cost of living crisis. Last week, housing associations in England reconfirmed their eviction pledge and support for residents.  

 In response to the report, Kate Henderson, the Chief Executive of the NHF said:

“We welcome the Kerslake Commission’s latest progress report, which highlights how rough sleeping can and has been prevented, but rightly keeps focus on the continued effort needed to end rough sleeping in these challenging times. We agree with the spirit of partnership working and shared learning, as well as the recommendations for breaking down barriers to building more social housing. The report makes welcome reference to housing associations’ Commitment to Refer which is key to helping prevent homelessness.

We support the recommendations for a temporary moratorium on evictions and strengthening of the welfare safety net. Housing associations have made a long-term commitment not to evict people experiencing financial hardship, and are putting extra support in place to help residents deal with the cost of living crisis”

Who to speak to

Suzannah Young, Policy Leader