Today we’re welcoming new homelessness statistics indicating a 31% reduction in the number of young people sleeping rough over the last 12 months – but we’re also calling on the government to do more to ensure it can end rough sleeping by 2024.
Depaul UK applauds the efforts of the many “emergency hotel” shelters established as part of the government’s Everybody In programme to protect people sleeping rough from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since the spring of 2020, we have been operating such emergency shelters in London and Manchester, helping hundreds of people to move on to safer, more stable accommodation.
CEO Mike Thiedke said, “Depaul is proud to have worked hard with our funders and partners at all levels of government to deliver accommodation through Everybody In and ensure people are not left to face the pandemic on the streets. Yet, while we welcome this reduction in the number of people sleeping rough, the government needs to do more to meet its target to end rough sleeping by 2024.
“Ultimately, to end rough sleeping we need to do much more to prevent homelessness. The government should work closely with the homelessness sector to invest in homelessness education programmes, family mediation and preventative accommodation services and ensure it is tackling homelessness at its source.
“Looking ahead to next month’s Budget, I hope the Government will avoid cutting the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit that has been in place since last year. Before this increase, young people accessing homelessness services like Depaul’s were often left without enough money to pay for food and clothing.
“Furthermore, I urge the government to use the new Budget to bring forward changes to the benefit system to make more housing available to young people who have slept rough. Changes announced last year to the shared accommodation rate (SAR) for young people who have slept rough should be implemented as soon as possible, rather than waiting until 2023 as is currently planned.”
Depaul UK’s recent report, “Everything Stopped”, based on a survey of people aged 16-25 using their services, found that:
As the unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in the three months to December, almost three of every five people that are now unemployed are under the age of 25.