The Government’s Rough Sleeper Snapshot has revealed a 26% year-on-year increase in the number of people sleeping rough. Read John Glenton, our Executive Director of Care and Support’s response here:
“Everyone should be concerned by this significant increase in rough sleeping – the first rise in rough sleeping in five years and the largest increase in percentage terms since 2015.
“The decline in rough sleeping during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021 showed what could be achieved when political will – and resources – were committed to a problem that need not exist.
“It is a real shame that we have lost the hard won gains from Everyone In.
“The government now has less than two years to make good on its manifesto pledge of ending rough sleeping in this parliament. If they are to have any hope of meeting that laudable aim, we need to see immediate action.
“That doesn’t just mean directing more resources at rough sleeping but also looking at the factors driving the increase in rough sleeping, which are only going to intensify as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
“This includes a chronic lack of social housing and the need for much more support for providers of supported housing, which can be hugely effective in preventing rough sleeping and therefore deliver a better – and more cost-efficient – solution to rough sleeping. Providers are being held back from meeting this demand for social housing by financial pressures, which can only be overcome through more government support.
“Providers working in homelessness are already under huge pressure caused by inflation, increased demand and long-term cuts to local authority budgets. Research by Homeless Link showed 92% of providers were concerned costs of living would affect their ability to maintain service and support standards. Money won’t solve everything but without money these providers are going to struggle to even stand still.”