No return to rough sleeping – latest government developments

08 June 2020

Given the growing need to move rough sleepers into permanent accommodation, we need clear guidance and funding to make sure there is no return to rough sleeping.

Progress is being made – we provide an update below on the latest developments – however there is still more work to do to ensure there is no return to rough sleeping.

You can read more about our plans to end homelessness in our new recovery briefing.

Partnership working with local authorities

Homelessness Minister, Luke Hall MP, recently made a written statement to Parliament detailing that local authorities have provided temporary accommodation to 14,610 rough sleepers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The letter said local authorities should assess the availability of move-on housing in their areas and encouraged them to work with housing associations to increase the supply.

We have produced a set of resources to help you with this, and you can also join our webinar ‘How can housing associations and local authorities work together to rehouse rough sleepers?’ on June 18.

The need for long-term ring-fenced support funding

The Homelessness Minister recently sent a letter to all councils asking them to present their plans on how they are going to move rough sleepers into accommodation. MHCLG will work with councils to help them prepare initial move-on plans for all individuals by 11 June.

The letter also asks councils to carry out individual assessments and consider a range of options to ensure people’s needs are met and the right support is given.

The availability of floating support and supported housing will be a key part helping the people accommodated to access and stay in move-on housing.

The government has allocated £3.2bn to councils to help them deliver services to vulnerable people, mainly through social care. This support funding is not ring-fenced, and it is not clear what proportion has reached homelessness support services.

The government has also pledged £433m for new long-term homes for rough sleepers, the details of this are still to be announced.

Funding for transitional accommodation and services

The Homelessness Minister’s letter also said that short-term accommodation should be put in place where move-on options are not available. In a previous announcement, the government said that the Youth Hostel Association, YMCA and student housing will provide transitional housing for some of the people in hotels.

We have asked for specific, secure funding for support, transition and welfare in a recent letter to Dame Louise Casey. So far, the government has allocated £3.2m to rough sleeper accommodation funding for councils, but more may be required to provide the transition accommodation needed to make sure no one slips through the net.

Guidance for sheltered accommodation providers

In his letter, the Homelessness Minister stressed that councils should “continue to be health-led” in their approach to rehousing rough sleeper.

We are calling for further guidance from the government on how to manage infection control in shared spaces to help them rehouse vulnerable people safely.

Who to speak to

Sue Ramsden, Policy Leader