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Statement from Co-Chairs on the report launch on the progress of the Government towards its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024:

“We are delighted to launch the APPG for Ending Homelessness’ report on whether the Government will meet their manifesto target to end the blight of rough sleeping in England by 2024.

This report follows an extensive inquiry into this topic including multiple evidence sessions hearing testimony from experts across the homelessness sector, and consultations with organisations working and delivering services in the homelessness sector, local authorities and, crucially, testimony from people with direct experience of homelessness.

We strongly welcome the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping which we know is the most devastating and damaging form of homelessness.

However, the consensus from the inquiry was clear – without urgent and impactful action, the Westminster Government will not meet its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping in England by 2024, particularly as the worsening cost-of-living crisis will force more people into destitution and at risk of losing their home in the coming months.

We know that at the moment more and more people are facing rising living costs.

For example, since last year rents have risen by 11.8% on average outside of London, while in London the average rent has increased by 15%. And, as of yet, no immediate support has been put in place to help renters with these growing costs.

Worryingly, the most recent homelessness statistics published by government reported the highest number of households living in private or social rented tenancies seeking homelessness assistance since data collection began.

In the coming months, too many people will be forced to make the choice between eating, paying their energy bills or paying their rent, or facing homelessness.

We know that with bold ambitious policy, backed by political commitment and national funding, ending rough sleeping in England is possible. This report sets out clear policy recommendations, based on the experiences of people facing homelessness and people working tirelessly to end the homelessness of their clients, to mitigate the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis and ensure no one is forced to face a night sleeping on the streets.

As the report outlines out, three building blocks to successfully achieving this are:

·      Establishing a robust preventative agenda, preventing homelessness wherever possible

·      Intervening quickly when it does occur, ensuring people can access the crisis services they need when sleeping on the streets

·      Supporting people who have slept rough to ensure they never have to go through that again and can rebuild their life.

We urge the Government under Liz Truss’ leadership to urgently implement the necessary policies to make sure people on the brink of destitution are not forced to spend the night on the streets in this cost-of-living crisis.

Without immediate action, there is a very real possibility that the numbers of people sleeping rough in England will rise, rather than fall in the run up 2024."

Bob Blackman MP

Flo Eshalomi MP   

Co-Chairs of the APPG for Ending Homelessness