Briefing: Westminster Hall debate on Rough Sleeping

By: Angel Strachan
Published: February 2019

Briefing: Westminster Hall debate on Rough Sleeping

Figures released in January showed that there were 4,677 people sleeping rough in Autumn 2018, a 2% decline from 2017. In 2010, the number sleeping rough was 1,768 – there has been a dramatic increase of 165% since 2010.

Since 2017 the government has introduced several initiatives that relate to rough sleeping, such as implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act, as well as publishing the Rough Sleeping Strategy in August 2018, which pledged to end rough sleeping by 2027.

However, radical intervention is needed. Firstly, the government must immediately lift the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and restore rates to at least the bottom 30th percentile of the market. Secondly, government must invest in significantly more social housing.

In 2017/18, the government delivered just 6,463 social homes, while nearly 1.2 million people are on waiting lists. The only way to ensure that nobody else is forced to sleep on the streets is to improve access to affordable, safe and secure social homes.