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12 August, 2020 Open access

Homelessness and rough sleeping will soar unless government maintains 2020/2021 level of funding over course of current parliament, says Salvation Army

New report calls for government to extend funding for homelessness support services in Autumn Spending Review

Homelessness and rough sleeping will soar unless the government maintains the 2020/2021 level of funding for homelessness support services over the course of the current parliament, according to the Salvation Army.

In a new report, Future Proof the Roof, the Salvation Army welcomes the progress that has been made in reducing homelessness during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown but says that that, unless the government uses the Autumn 2020 Spending Review to maintain current levels of spending, the economic consequences of the pandemic will increase rough sleeping and force families into expensive and unsuitable temporary accommodation, as local authorities struggle to manage rising homelessness levels.  

As a result, the Salvation Army recommends that the government should  -

Commenting on the report, Salvation Army Director of Homelessness Services Lorrita Johnson said -

'It’s not too late to stop a massive increase in homelessness and rough sleeping caused by the current economic downturn. Bold government moves like the furlough scheme, temporary protection from eviction and emergency accommodation for rough sleepers saved lives and ensured thousands still had a home. However, our report demonstrates that if the government mirrors the austerity approach it took during the last economic crisis, there will be dire consequences for rough sleepers, private renters and the economy as a whole....

If they act now, the government will protect thousands of people from either returning to the streets and prevent many children being raised in cramped and unhealthy temporary accommodation.'

For more information, see Government plans to end rough sleeping could unravel within months from salvationarmy.org.uk