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‘Everyone In’ exposed gaps in government approach to rough sleeping

A new report from the Public Accounts Committee has highlighted how the ‘Everyone In’ scheme, which saw over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness given emergency accommodation to keep them safe during the pandemic, has exposed the true extent of rough sleeping prior to the outbreak.

The report finds that the number of people helped under the ‘Everyone In’ scheme is nearly nine times MHCLG’S last official estimate of people sleeping rough – and that the Government has still not set out a plan for achieving its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by May 2024.  

The report’s recommendations to MHCLG include:

  • The Department must, before summer recess, publish at least a draft strategy for how it will achieve its goal of ending rough sleeping by 2024.
  • The Department must ensure it continues to publish its monthly data on numbers of people sleeping rough. Drawing on this information, it should report back to this Committee on a quarterly basis on its performance against its target for ending rough sleeping. 

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “​Let’s be clear, homelessness has always been a risk to life and it shouldn’t have taken a pandemic for this to be fully recognised.

“It’s critical that the immediate response to coronavirus translates into long-term, systemic change. We need to see a clear strategy from Government setting out how this will happen, including a plan to ensure everyone who is rough sleeping will be supported to find somewhere permanent to live.

“The efforts over the last year to keep people sleeping rough safe during this public health crisis have been nothing short of remarkable. While it’s great to see today’s report reflect this, it’s clear there is still a long way to go before the Westminster Government meets its commitment to end rough sleeping.”