Long-term funding commitments and improvements to social housing access are two areas that local authority leaders think need more attention if rough sleeping is to be eliminated for good, a new report says.
The report, published today by the Local Government Association (LGA), sets out how the sector support programme – delivered by the LGA – is sharing learning and good practice from the Everyone In initiative to help eliminate rough sleeping for good.
During the lockdown, councils were required as part of the Government’s Everyone In scheme to act rapidly to help rough sleepers off the streets to protect them from the spread of the virus. The scheme saw over 37,000 vulnerable people supported.
Following Everyone In, the LGA has worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to facilitate a peer support process as part of the sector support programme.
Between December 2020 and February 2021, the LGA facilitated 28 Delivery and Impact Panels, involving 222 councils, in order to learn how the sector can tackle rough sleeping moving forward.
The report, entitled Voice of the sector: supporting rough sleepers at a time of national crisis, consists of the lessons drawn from these panels.
Among the key themes to emerge were the commitment and dedication of frontline staff, opportunities for innovation, reframing relationships with partners, strengthened approaches to data sharing, and welcoming of national focus and funding from the Government.
Councils also highlighted areas for improvement, including a need for long-term funding, sustaining the current rough sleeping approach, improving access to social housing and securing clarity of guidance for rough sleepers with no recourse to public funds.
‘As part of the sector support programme, we have sought to build on the experiences of councils in responding to the crisis by sharing learning, knowledge and expertise so we can continue to work together to tackle rough sleeping,’ said Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson.
‘The issues and ideas that have come from this have shaped this report, as we look to support the Government in its ambition of ending rough sleeping altogether.’