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1 in 4 people helped off the streets under the government’s Everyone In scheme are no longer being accommodated

Posted 27 Aug 2021

Most of the people at risk from rough sleeping who were helped during the pandemic to find a temporary bed under the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme, are still not living in settled accommodation, troubling new research from Shelter shows.

Having gathered FOI data from 234 local councils about the emergency rough-sleeping scheme between March 2020 and February 2021, the housing charity found:

  • Over three-quarters (77%) of the people helped under the ‘Everyone In’ banner were not living in settled accommodation – i.e. somewhere they could stay for at least six months. The government said 37,000 people were helped, which means an estimated 29,000 people were still not living in a settled home by February 2021.

  • Almost one in four (23%) - an estimated 8,800 people - initially placed in emergency accommodation were no longer being accommodated by February 2021. This suggests a large number of people may have returned to the streets or sofa-surfing.

  • More than one in five (22%) - an estimated 8,300 people - were still living in emergency accommodation, such as hostels and B&B rooms, and had not been moved into longer-term accommodation.

Shelter is warning the government risks undoing the progress made on rough sleeping, if it does not get an urgent grip on the situation to prevent thousands of people being forced back out onto the streets.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Everyone In helped thousands off the streets at the start of the pandemic, but our data shows almost one in four people are no longer being accommodated and many are still in hostels and B&B’s facing an uncertain future.

“We’re gravely concerned that with funding for Everyone In running out, and councils returning to ‘business as usual’, we will see people forced out onto the streets. It would be a travesty if we allowed rough sleeping to slide back to pre-pandemic levels. The government needs to get a grip on this situation urgently and look at what comes next.

“The country opening back up isn’t an excuse to forget about homeless people. The government has promised to end rough sleeping for good. To make that a reality, not only should everyone facing the streets be given somewhere safe to stay without question, we must invest in more rough sleeping support and a new generation of social homes.”


Notes to editors:

  • The government claims that 37,430 people have been provided with emergency accommodation as part of the ‘Everyone In’ scheme. According to MHCLG, this includes ‘people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic’. We have used the term ‘at risk from rough sleeping’ to cover these groups. This figure is correct as at January 2021 and is available here: MHCLG, Ad hoc statistical publications, Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency accommodation survey data: January 2021, 25 February 2021.

  • The research findings are based on responses to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that our partners at Freshfields LLP sent to all local authorities in England at the end of February 2021. We received responses from 234 (74%) local authorities. We asked local authorities about the total number of people they had accommodated in ‘Everyone In’ emergency accommodation and where those who people were living at the point of responding to the FOI request.

  • The full breakdown of research findings is below, including the estimated number of people:

    Outcomes of Everyone InPercentage of peopleEstimated number of people
    No longer accommodated23%8,795
    Settled accommodation23%8,579
    Emergency accommodation22%8,316
    Supported accommodation18%6,634
    Re-connected with friends/family5%1,719
    Other/not known9%3,387

    Table 1: The outcomes of Everyone In, Protect and Protect Plus, Source: Shelter analysis of FOI results and MHCLG data, Base: 234 (74%) local authorities who provided a substantive response to this question in our February 2021 FOI

  • 77% of people were reported to not be in ‘settled accommodation’, defined as a tenancy of 6 or more months in social housing or a privately rented home. This includes those who were no longer accommodated due to having left accommodation without move on or with no destination recorded; still in emergency accommodation; in supported accommodation; re-connected with family or friends; and those for whom their current accommodation was unknown. We have assumed that all those with unknown outcomes are not in settled accommodation.

  • According to MHCLG, ‘Supported housing is any housing scheme where housing, support and sometimes care services are provided in one package depending on the individual needs of the person.’ These can be either long- or short-term, including hostels and other homeless accommodation. MHCLG, Ad hoc statistical publications, Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency accommodation survey data: January 2021, 25 February 2021.

  • The total figures have been calculated by applying the proportions with each accommodation outcome to the total number of people the government reports as having been accommodated by the scheme in total (37,430) as of January 2021.

About Shelter: Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at