Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, St Mungo’s investigated the experiences of people who have slept rough, and gone on to try and access social housing.
Social housing should provide safe, affordable and secure homes for people who are in the most urgent housing need, but the rate of social house building has slowed dramatically in recent years. As a result the number of new lettings has rapidly declined. All too often, social housing is completely unavailable to those with no other options – because there isn’t enough of it for everyone who needs it.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, St Mungo’s investigated the experiences of people who have slept rough, and gone on to try and access social housing. We interviewed clients, surveyed frontline staff, and analysed published data, including CHAIN, to learn more about how people access social housing. We also reviewed the social housing allocation policy of every local authority in England to determine how likely people with a history of rough sleeping are to access social housing in these areas.
Now more than ever, we know the importance of everyone being able to access safe housing. The Government has a unique opportunity to prevent thousands of people from returning to the streets, and part of their response must be to increase the number of social homes being built and ensure the process for accessing social housing doesn’t unfairly, or unnecessarily, penalise people who desperately need to rebuild their lives away from the street.
After all, everyone deserves a home for good.
Click below to read the report in full.