More than 30 homelessness charities warn Prime Minister that government is not on track to meet commitment to end rough sleeping in England by 2024

Letter to Rishi Sunak calls for urgent action in light of rising number of rough sleepers and increasing funding pressures on homelessness support services caused by prolonged inflation

More than 30 homelessness charities have written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to warn that the government is not on track to meet the commitment he made during last summer's Conservative Party leadership campaign to end rough sleeping in England by 2024.

Further to the Annual Rough Sleeper Snapshot in late 2022 showing the biggest year-on-year percentage rise since 2015, and Homeless Link polling showing that almost half the respondent support organisations agree that the rising cost of living means their organisation risk service closures, 32 homelessness charities have signed a letter to Rishi Sunak expressing their concern that more needs to be done –

'We were encouraged by your commitment to the target of ending rough sleeping, even despite the economic circumstances. However, almost a year down the line, the data shows that we are going backwards in terms of meeting the goal.'

In addition, the charities highlight that, despite the positive steps of finally tabling the Renters Reform Bill and the £100 million of new funding announced in the Spring Budget –

'… we remain deeply concerned about the financial position of homelessness services across the country. Very few local authorities have the resources to uplift commissioned homelessness contracts in line with inflation, meaning some homelessness providers are currently trying to manage annual shortfalls in the hundreds of thousands of pounds for commissioned services. … Cleary the £100m the Chancellor outlined in the Spring Budget, which is due to be spread across the whole of the third sector, is simply not enough.'

As a result, the charities say –

'… we sincerely hope that your commitment to the target of ending rough sleeping by 2024 was genuine and that you will take the necessary action to get there, including giving local authorities the resources to uplift commissioned homelessness contracts to reflect inflation so services like us can provide the best possible support to people who need it.’

Chief executive of Homeless Link Rick Henderson said today –

'Rishi Sunak committed to ‘ending rough sleeping once for and all’ during his leadership campaign just last year. But all indicators show rough sleeping is rising fast, while homelessness services are struggling with extreme financial pressures caused by historic funding issues and prolonged inflation. Clearly urgent action is needed to protect services. Without it, people will continue to experience the trauma of sleeping rough on our streets.'

For more information, see 32 homelessness charities sign letter to Rishi Sunak from