In March last year, in response to COVID-19 and its potential for devastation amongst the country’s homeless population, councils across the UK – in a matter of days – successfully managed to get thousands of people off the streets, getting ‘everyone in’, in self-contained, COVID-safe emergency accommodation, including hotels and student accommodation. It was an amazing achievement that undoubtedly saved lives.
When the pandemic struck, rough sleepers were particularly vulnerable to the virus as they often have a higher rate of underlying health conditions. It is also much harder for someone without a home to be able to follow advice on self-isolating, social distancing and hygiene. The ‘Everyone In’ scheme was created to provide protection – with somewhere safe for individuals to live and receive healthcare and addiction support – for rough sleepers against the virus.
10,726 people were recorded as sleeping rough in London in 2019/20* with men making up 83% of the capital’s rough sleepers. This represents a 21% increase in sleeping rough compared to the total of 8,855 people seen in 2018/19. And of the people rough sleeping during this time, 40% had multiple support needs relating to alcohol, drugs or mental health.
The strained economy, leading to a rise in unemployment, has also had an impact on the numbers of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of people facing homelessness in need of more specialist support, for example, women escaping domestic violence.
And in recent months the capital has seen a more diverse number of people sleeping rough with data from January 2021** showing that:
The Everyone In fund is purchasing fifty homes which will house – over its lifetime - around two hundred people who are sleeping rough in the capital. Partnering with registered social landlord and social justice charity Nacro, the fund will also provide a support service for tenants living in these properties. This will see Nacro supporting individuals to maintain their home, set down roots in a community, address any additional support needs they have, and re-engage with education or employment, with the aim is for service users to eventually move into more permanent accommodation.
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Nacro, explains: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to help homeless Londoners move on with their lives.
“Having somewhere secure to live, somewhere you can feel safe, is the basis of a second chance. But it’s not just a roof over their heads we will be providing, through our dedicated support workers we will be helping people throughout their tenancy to build a better future.
“In these difficult times this funding is a vital lifeline for homeless people in the capital.”
The Everyone In Fund has a target fund size of £15m and is launching with £5 million investment from Greater London Combined Authority (GLA) and £7.5 million from Big Society Capital. The investment from GLA is a part of a larger £93.4 million housing grant The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has committed to provide accommodation and support for people currently rough sleeping in the capital.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “A secure, long-term home should be a basic right for every Londoner, but a decade of austerity and the economic crisis created by the pandemic means far too many people have found themselves on the street or in temporary accommodation.
“My teams and their charity partners are working around the clock to help the most vulnerable people to work towards a life off the street – but this is only possible if there is high quality, affordable accommodation available at the end of their journey. The work being carried out by Resonance and Nacro will create the homes our fellow Londoners deserve and ensure they have access to the support they need to rebuild their lives.”
The investments from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Big Society Capital allows Resonance to extend its long-running homelessness property fund initiative in London to help reach the specific and urgent need arising from the pandemic – helping provide move-on accommodation for individuals who have been temporarily housed in hotels and other emergency accommodation, and where there is now a historic opportunity to help prevent a return to the streets by providing a better way forward.
You can read the Mayor of London's press release here.
Find out more about the Resonance Everyone In property fund here.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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