40% of councils say they cannot meet government rough sleeping targets

A further 26% of council chiefs say they are unable to halve rough sleeping by 2022.

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Government targets for rough sleeping will not be met, according to a New Local Government Network (NLGN) report.

The Leadership Index found that 41% of councils think they cannot eradicate rough sleeping by 2027, with a further 26% stating they are unlikely or very unlikely to halve rough sleeping by 2022.

In reports, focus turns to that of urban (London and Metropolitan Boroughs) councils, with a rise in figures revealing 61% think they are unlikely to eradicate rough sleeping by 2027, with 38% saying they are unable to halve it by 2022.

According to NLGN, the reports will come as a “blow” to the government given the Rough Sleeping Strategy launched just last year, which includes targets to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027.

With extra government funding allocations, particularly for those local authorities with the highest numbers of rough sleepers, NLGN’s survey reveals that this is not “proving adequate”.

In reports, councils are said to cite unsustainable funding, welfare and lack of suitable accommodation among the obstacles preventing them from meeting government targets.

Adam Lent, director of the New Local Government Network, said: “Everyone agrees that the government’s aspiration to eradicate rough sleeping is admirable.

“But this survey shows that councils are far off the 2027 target – particularly in urban areas.

“The government needs to work closely and urgently with councils to understand what extra resources are needed to meet the targets and how planned welfare reforms can be revised to prevent them contributing to rough sleeping.”

Paul Noblet, head of Public Affairs at Centrepoint added: “This report shows the huge challenges faced by cash-strapped councils across the country as they attempt to support increasing numbers of people.

“Centrepoint’s own research found that more than 100,000 young people approached their local authority last year because they were either homeless or at risk.

“With new duties placed upon them by the Homelessness Reduction Act, we estimate that councils need at least another £10m per year just to support under-25s.”

He added: “To achieve even their 2027 target, it is vital that the government both urgently ramps up funding for councils and continues to reform Universal Credit so that it meets the cost of renting and is paid on time.”

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