23 Sep 2022

CIH responds to Ending Homelessness APPG report

The APPG for Ending Homelessness have launched a report today (23 September 2022) into the Government's progress on tackling rough sleeping, analysing whether the Government is on track to meet its manifesto commitment to ‘end the blight of rough sleeping’ in England by the end of this Parliament. The report follows an extensive inquiry by the APPG which has included evidence sessions in Parliament and consultations with organisations working in the homelessness sector, local authorities across England and people with direct experience of homelessness and rough sleeping. CIH submitted evidence to this inquiry which you can read here.

The report notes that despite welcome progress towards the commitment since 2019, without further urgent and impactful action, the Government will not meet its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping in England by 2024 - particularly as the ongoing cost-of-living crisis will force more people into destitution and more people will be at risk of becoming homeless in the coming months. It outlines the necessary policy recommendations which Government needs to implement to meet their manifesto commitment, to mitigate the pressures of the worsening cost-of-living crisis and ensure no one has to sleep on the streets. It focuses on establishing a robust preventative agenda, early intervention as soon as homelessness occurs, and supporting people who have slept rough to ensure they can rebuild their life.

The main recommendations in the report include:

  • Government should establish a new inter-ministerial working group or cabinet committee on homelessness and rough sleeping, as set out in the Kerslake Commission, to establish a clear vision and implementation plan for ending rough sleeping.
  • Government must urgently deliver improved access to genuinely affordable housing, to relieve the acute lack of accommodation options for people facing or experiencing homelessness.
  • Government should strengthen preventative welfare policies to help more people keep their homes as the cost of living crisis worsens and pushes people to the brink of destitution and homelessness.
  • Government should urgently review existing criteria of priority need, intentionality and local connection in homelessness legislation in England, to ensure that people who are rough sleeping get the help they need.
  • Government must ensure that the right support is available to sustain an end to someone’s homelessness. For people with multiple, entrenched needs, this is Housing First.

Responding to the report, James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at CIH, said:

"It is timely that the APPG report has been launched in the week of the Government’s mini-budget which prioritised tax cuts over targeted help for those most affected by the cost of living crisis, a crisis which is likely to exacerbate homelessness. With that in mind it is good to see a set of recommendations with which we can wholeheartedly agree. Without further urgent, coordinated action the Government will miss its manifesto target of ending rough sleeping by 2024.

"At CIH we will continue to prioritise our work to combat homelessness and deliver a housing system that works for all. The recommendations from the report provide a framework for how this can be achieved."