Is the government on track to meet its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024?

13 June 2022

Our submission to the APPG for Ending Homelessness Inquiry

The pandemic highlighted the need for secure, affordable homes, especially for those hardest hit: low-paid key workers, rough sleepers, families in temporary accommodation and people in unsuitable, unsupported or overcrowded homes. It has also highlighted the need for support services, a robust welfare system, and safeguards for employment. Housing associations play a key role in preventing and ending rough sleeping, and have been heavily involved in alleviating rough sleeping and homelessness during the pandemic. They have cooperated with partners to help keep people secure at home and get the support they need, and rehouse rough sleepers.

The NHF submitted a response to the APPG for Ending Homelessness’ (APPGEH) inquiry into the government’s progress towards its welcome manifesto commitment to ‘end the blight of rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament’ in 2024. The ‘Everyone In’ programme to assist rough sleepers through the covid 19 crisis is hailed as one of the most effective pieces of partnership working in this area. It is vital that we build on its success to achieve the government’s target of ending rough sleeping by 2024.

Summary

In our response we have answered the questions set out in the inquiry and summarised key lessons learned from the pandemic

  • Rough sleeping essentially ended overnight for a temporary period with the government’s emergency accommodation measures during the first national lockdown. This shows what is possible with leadership and funding.
  • We must not undo the progress made. The impetus to accommodate rough sleepers should continue and be accompanied by adequate, ring-fenced funding to secure permanent homes and ongoing support for those rehoused and safeguard supported housing services to ensure that no-one returns to rough sleeping.
  • The pandemic has highlighted the importance of person-centred support services in housing and of taking a holistic and flexible approach to people’s needs in enabling them to carry on living independently. Support services help people experiencing homelessness access accommodation and to retain their housing long-term.
  • It has also revealed the urgent need to address the underfunding of housing and support services. In the longer term, we need investment to build the social housing the country needs, alongside properly funded support services for wider homelessness prevention and benefits that cover the cost of rent. Only with this investment will the government meet its target of ending rough sleeping by 2024.

Who to speak to

Suzannah Young, Policy Officer