St Mungo’s responds to Public Accounts Committee Report

New Public Accounts Committee report highlights continuing positive impact of ‘Everyone In’ but also shows ‘urgent’ need for a long-term strategy to end rough sleeping.

St Mungo’s has said the Public Accounts Committee’s investigation into the housing of people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the need for a long-term strategy to tackle the issue.

Published today (17 March) the PAC report, entitled COVID-19: Housing People Sleeping Rough, analyses the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG)’s approach to tackling the issue of people sleeping rough during the pandemic.

It commends the “considerable achievement” of the ‘Everyone In’ scheme, but also addresses several areas of concern including:

  • The discrepancies between pre-pandemic rough sleeping figures from the MHCLG and the high number of people helped into emergency accommodation via ‘Everyone In’
  • The need for a comprehensive plan to achieve the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024 and provide 3,300 homes for people sleeping rough
  • The difficulties local authorities face in helping people with no recourse to public funds to resolve their homelessness

Reacting to the publication Steve Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s said: “This report highlights the need for a coherent approach to tackling the issue of rough sleeping.

“As the pandemic was starting, Dame Louise Casey had been brought in to develop such a strategy to support the Government’s manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping within this parliament. That work has not been completed.

“The Everyone In initiative proved that the ambition is achievable, but we must now move on from an emergency response to a long term plan. And we must do that urgently, so that we do not lose the positive lessons from last year.”

So far St Mungo’s has supported more than 4,000 people into emergency accommodation during the pandemic, and continues to work to help as many people as possible to move away from the streets for good.