Rough Sleeping in England: Short-Term Solutions to a Long-term Problem

The most recent street counts in England reported 4,751 people living rough in Autumn 2017. This was yet another increase in a pattern of year-on-year increases,. The number had been 1,768 in 2010, bad news, but then the population of England is over 55 million and the United Kingdom (UK) is still the fifth largest economy in the world.

The current Government’s decision to spend £28 million (around $50 million AUD) on the recently announced Housing First pilot program to target rough sleeping is very likely to make a positive difference, as should the reorientation of the homelessness laws towards prevention, which has been seen in Wales and now in England.

Levels of resource that will have a real impact can be directed at rough sleeping and it will still only represent a tiny fraction of government spending.

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