A traumatised system A critical crossroads for the commissioning of homelessness services

When the pandemic first struck, Riverside were on the brink of launching the report of a study we had commissioned from Imogen Blood & Associates and the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. This report examined trends in the commissioning of homelessness services by local authorities over the past decade based on conversations with local authority commissioners.

The findings built a picture of a homelessness system which had been ‘traumatised’ as a result of the direct and indirect effects of ten years of funding cuts and national policy changes.

Now, the report’s lead authors, Imogen Blood and Nicholas Pleace, have re-grouped to reflect on how a year of pandemic has impacted on the resilience of this already-traumatised system.

Their new post-script on the original report argues that we are now at a critical crossroads.

Front cover of the postscript document with its title and an image of a man wearing a face mask sitting at a desk


You can download this new postscript here.

In the face of further cuts, and combined with the potential for increased homelessness, there is a real risk that services are hastily de-commissioned now, simply to be replaced by new emergency shelters in the future.

We must instead seize the opportunity to work together to strengthen prevention, improve long-term housing supply, and commission sustainable, future-proof housing-led support.