Housing associations have a key part to play in resolving rough sleeping through accommodation and prevention. Our work on rough sleeping ranges from engaging with government on its Rough Sleeping Strategy, to demonstrating how our members housed rough sleepers with support, in cooperation with local authorities during the coronavirus pandemic.
For rough sleeping to end permanently, there needs to be funding for housing-related support services, accommodation, a robust welfare system and oversight. We continue to call for this in our work with the government.
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The NHF sits on the Kerslake Commission, an independent Commission to examine and learn the lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Rough Sleeping Strategy
The NHF fed in to the government’s 2018 Rough Sleeping Strategy and has been an active member of the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel since then.
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Rehousing people in urgent need
During the coronavirus pandemic, housing associations partnered with local authorities to accommodate and sustainably rehouse rough sleepers and people fleeing domestic abuse quickly into housing with support, as part of the Everyone In effort.
Find out more about housing associations’ work to house rough sleepers during coronavirus
Housing associations prioritised vulnerable groups, including people fleeing domestic abuse/harassment, care leavers, hospital discharge, homeless families, overcrowded households for new lettings and transfers, often while local authority normal lettings were suspended.
Housing associations also worked with local refuges to rehouse people ready for move-on. We developed guidance with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA on how this could be done, fed into the Local Government Association (LGA) guidance on rehousing rough sleepers, and held a webinar with the LGA on examples of working together to rehouse people. Our 2021 event with the LGA also looked at learning from the pandemic on how local authorities and housing associations can work together to end rough sleeping and homelessness.
Some housing associations also agreed with the local authority and police that perpetrators of domestic abuse removed through a domestic violence protection notice (DVPN) would be treated like rough sleepers and provided hotel accommodation, so they remained housed separately from the survivor.
Working with the government on move-on accommodation
Following the accommodation and rehousing effort during the pandemic, we fed back to government that there needed to be a coordinated effort with funding available to provide long-term rehousing options for rough sleepers.
We wrote a joint letter to Dame Louise Casey, who headed up the Rough Sleeping Taskforce during ‘Everyone In’ asking for sustainable solutions for people currently accommodated and for those at risk of homelessness.
We then fed into government thinking around its move-on accommodation funds, the Next Steps Accommodation Fund and Rough Sleeping Accommodation Fund, including giving member feedback around bidding into and using the fund through a series of roundtables with DLUHC.