Rough Sleeping Strategy - briefing

The Rough Sleeping Strategy sets out the Government’s strategy for halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027. It was published on 13 August 2018.


The full document is available from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), as is a new prospectus for the Government’s £50 million Move On Fund. The Government has also announced its intention to publish a delivery plan in the autumn, to refresh the strategy on an annual basis, and to follow this strategy with another, which addresses other forms of homelessness.
 
This briefing is not a comprehensive review of the measures announced in the Strategy; instead, it summarises the main announcements of relevance to local government and sets out the Local Government Association’s (LGA) initial
response. Read our response to the strategy.

Summary

  • The Government has published a Rough Sleeping strategy led by a cross-Departmental homelessness taskforce and alongside a period of engagement with an Advisory Panel that included the LGA, councils, and a number of homelessness service providers and partners. 
  • The Rough Sleeping Strategy includes some encouraging proposals that reflect the recommendations from the LGA-chaired Prevention Task and Finish Group, such as a renewed focus on the role of local homelessness strategies, and the piloting of Somewhere Safe to Stay schemes for people at immediate risk of sleeping rough. Importantly, it emphasises the importance of targeted prevention, enabled by all parts of government coming together.
  • However, local government’s ambition is greater than the Rough Sleeping Strategy, which lacks substantive measures to ensure that fewer people reach the point of crisis – namely, a reversal of welfare reform measures and a step-change in the supply of social housing. Moreover, the strategy has a heavily centralised approach, introducing numerous, nationally-controlled and disparate pots of funding. This stops short of giving local authorities the strategic influence needed for them to effectively tackle all forms of homelessness in a coherent, joined-up way.   
  • There have also been indications from the Secretary of State that half of the £100 million committed within the Strategy has been announced previously; the other half will be re-prioritised from existing budgets within MHCLG.
  • The LGA will work with the Government to take forward proposals. We will continue to push for an ambitious vision that recognises local government’s role in ending rough sleeping, by making local homelessness strategies the vehicle through which funding flows and strategic decisions are made.

Read the full briefing below -