Homelessness and housing organisations respond to Government Rough Sleeping Strategy 

 

The Government today releases its rough sleeping strategy, the first since announcing its commitment to halve the number of people sleeping on the streets by 2022 and to end the problem by 2027.

Responding, housing and homelessness organisations who were part of the strategy’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel¹ issued a joint statement saying:

“This strategy is a significant step towards the government’s goal of ending rough sleeping by 2027, which will make a real difference to people’s lives. 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’ duty² and the review of the vagrancy act have the potential to pave the way for desperately needed reforms, preventing people sleeping rough. 

“However, for the strategy to work, the government must also set out bold, cross-departmental plans to tackle the root causes of all forms of homelessness, and prevent it from happening in the first place. This must include plans to build significantly more social housing, to foster greater security for renters, to ensure people have access to benefits and other support they need to help them keep their homes. We also need to see a reversal of policies that leave migrants homeless and destitute, and healthcare, mental health and substance misuse services that are available and truly accessible to those who need it. 

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

Responding further Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“This strategy is a positive start, but to truly end rough sleeping the Government must build on this progress and commit to ending all forms of homelessness. Earlier this year Crisis published a plan that shows exactly how we can address the root causes of homelessnessand make it a thing of the past. With the right measures in place, the Government can do what it takes and make sure that no one has to face homelessness again.”

ENDS 

For further information or to arrange a spokesperson interview please call the Crisis Media Team on 0207 426 3880 or 07973 372 587 if your query is out of hours or email simon.trevethick@crisis.org.uk 

Notes to editors

  1. The members of the rough sleeping advisory panel and co-authors of the joint statement are as follows: Crisis, Homeless Link, National Housing Federation, Shelter, St. Basils, St Mungos, Thames Reach
  2. Somewhere safe to stay pilots: the Government has committed up to £17m for work in 15 areas to rapidly assess the needs of people at risk of rough sleeping and support them to get the right help.