Homeless man

Kerslake Commission: Joint working key to tackling homelessness

Without urgent action, the benefits and lessons learned from joint working during the Covid-19 pandemic will be wasted and the number of people having to sleep on the streets will rise again, according to a report released today on homelessness and rough sleeping.

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping’s final report: A new way of working: ending rough sleeping together comes as pandemic support measures come to an end.

This includes the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit and the furlough scheme and this coupled with rises in energy prices, inflation and National Insurance, is likely to put more and more people at risk of homelessness, according to the report.

12 key recommendations are made in the Kerslake Commission’s final report, which it says must be actioned if the positives achieved during the pandemic are not to be lost.

Recommendations include:

  • The government developing a longer-term rough sleeping strategy built on the success of their ‘Everyone In’ policy.
  • The maintenance of the £20 Universal Credit uplift.
  • Increased joint working by all organisations involved in homelessness by extending the Homelessness Reduction Act’s ‘duty to refer’, to make it a ‘duty to collaborate'.
  • Introducing a Quality Assurance Framework for those providing homelessness accommodation.
  • Establishing a clear policy position that limiting access to benefits for non-UK nationals should stop short of causing destitution.
  • Reducing the reliance on communal shelters through improving planning in relation to extreme cold or severe heat.

Responding to the report, Chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), Councillor James Jamieson said:

“Getting thousands of rough sleepers off the streets into safe accommodation at the start of the pandemic was an incredible achievement by councils and this important report sets out key recommendations that can help to prevent a new wave of homelessness.

“As we look to return to normality, it is essential we build on the success of the Everyone In initiative and make sure it is not just a one-off emergency response.

“Supporting those who are vulnerable can only succeed with sector-wide working at a local level, with health, housing associations and the voluntary sector working closely together.

“Councils stand ready to work with government to realise its ambition of ending rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.

“For that to happen, the government must use the forthcoming Spending Review to announce a cross-departmental homelessness prevention strategy.

“This would need to see councils given the long-term funding required to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place, with welfare changes introduced in the pandemic maintained for as long as they are needed, including the Universal Credit uplift.”

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, was launched in March 2020 and has met four times in total.

Developing an integrated, sustainable transport network for Nottingham

PSE June/July 22

Developing an integrated, sustainable transport network for Nottingham

Our June/July edition of PSE we bring you expert comment and analysis on a range of public sector topics, from digital transformation to health and social care and the workforce. Learn about how important ethics are in public service, or how Brighton and Hove City Council are focusing on travel and transport as we head towards a net zero world as well as so much more…


View all videos
PSE365 Cyber Security

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Cyber Security Virtual Event | 14 July 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.

Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all