Since 2010 there has been a significant increase in declared homelessness with a 48% surge, as well as a 169% rise in individuals sleeping rough.
The Government has taken the initiative to reduce these numbers through the Homeless Reduction Act, launched on the 3rd of April 2018. Despite being an ambitious goal, the Act is projected to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027. To support this a Homeless Reduction Taskforce will be established, whose role will be the creation and implementation of strategies aiming at achieving that goal.
There will be a substantial investment in the project with £1 billion promised and an additional £50 million aimed at “deliver[ing] an ‘end-to-end’ approach to homelessness and rough sleeping prevention” (4B). The Taskforce’s strategies will include support and housing for those in need, accompanied by health and drug-issue counseling.
As of 7th of March, the Taskforce has had its first meeting since its official establishment in December, despite initial fears regarding its effectiveness. However, while work is evidently in motion there is much more to do and it is only the beginning of a long and ambitious promise that needs to be monitored. Therefore the policy should be considered to be ‘in progress’.
For more detail:
- New Government initiative to reduce rough sleeping – Gov.uk
- Government to lead national effort to end rough sleeping – Gov.uk
If you want to know more:
- A think tank has started analyzing the Homelessness Reduction Act’s impact
- Budget round-up 2017
- Government’s anti-homelessness taskforce has not held a single meeting since it was set up, ministers admit