Experts respond to the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy

By agency reporter
August 14, 2018

Responding to the Government’s £100 million plan to end rough sleeping by 2027, David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation said: “People sleeping on the streets because they don’t have a home of their own is a desperate situation and one that needs to be tackled as a matter of urgency.

“We welcome the Government’s intent to end rough sleeping by 2027. There is much to be valued in this strategy – practical measures and new funding that will really help ease the current situation. But if we’re to bring about a lasting end to rough sleeping we need targeted investment in new homes for rough sleepers, a significant increase in homes for social rent overall, and a full assessment of the impact of welfare reform on rough sleeping.”

The Rough Sleeping Strategy was developed through the Government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, bringing together a number of housing and homelessness experts with decades of experience in rough sleeping. Many of the organisations represented on the panel – the National Housing Federation, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter, St Mungos, Thames Reach, and St Basils – have come together to produce a joint statement on behalf of the homelessness sector:

“This strategy is a significant step towards the Government’s goal of ending rough sleeping by 2027. As members of the advisory panel, we welcome the new funding commitment for dedicated outreach teams and for emergency bed spaces, while the announcement of nationwide trials of a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ duty has the potential to pave the way for desperately needed reforms, preventing people sleeping rough in the first place. 

“However, for the strategy to work, Government must also set out bold, cross-departmental plans to tackle the root causes of rough sleeping, and prevent it from happening in the first place. This must include plans to build significantly more social housing, ensuring people have access to benefits and other support they need to help them keep their homes, undoing policies that leave migrants homeless and destitute, and making sure healthcare and other support services are available and accessible to those who need it.

“To end rough sleeping by 2027, Government must build on today’s welcome announcement and set out plans to prevent rough sleeping from occurring in the first place. The ambitious target that Government has set itself will only be achieved if it is equally bold on addressing the polices that cause rough sleeping in the first place.”

* National Housing Federation


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