To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government remains on track to meet its target of ending rough sleeping in England by 2027.
22 July 2019
The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.
In its first year, our Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff. This year we have expanded the RSI with investment of £46 million for 246 areas – providing funding for an estimated 2,600 bed spaces and 750 staff.
The most recent figures, from the Official 2018 Rough Sleeping Snapshot, show that the number of people sleeping on our streets on a particular night has fallen for the first time in several years. The number of those sleeping rough on one night in 2018 is 2 per cent lower compared to the previous year. This follows year-on-year increases, with an average annual increase of nearly 16 per cent.
In areas where the Government has targeted funding and interventions through its RSI, the number of those reported as sleeping rough on a single night in 2018 fell by 19 per cent, compared to the national decrease of 2 per cent . This is in contrast to the overall 41 per cent increase in areas that were not part of the initiative, an encouraging sign of progress.
The RSI funds local authorities to provide specialist services to help the most vulnerable people in society off the streets. We will publish an evaluation later this year which will help to understand the impact of the initiative.