1 support worker per 100 rough sleepers is the Louise Casey plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Government believes that 100 rough sleepers need 1 support worker as that is the funding level they have pledged in the Everybody Out phase.  As Government insists on calling the cleansing the streets of rough sleepers the Everybody In phase so I call their summary eviction once hotels can return to normal customers the Everybody Out phase.

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£52 million over 4 years for visiting support to 16,666 rough sleepers which equates to 22.5 minutes of support per week sees a support worker on a 37.5 hour week have a caseload of 100 rough sleepers to support.

Those pesky numbers:

  1. £52 million is the new money for support and over 4 years thus £13m per year
  2. Government now admits 15,000 in hotels and say this is 90% of rough sleepers is 16,666 rough sleepers (England only)
  3. £13m divided by 16,666 is £780 per year in support funding and £14.95 per week
  4. The numerous Housing First advocates say the cost of one hour of support is £40 thus £14.95 per week per rough sleeper buys 22.5 minutes of support per week
  5. Support staff working 37.5 hours per week is 2,250 minutes of support per week
  6. Divide 2,250 minutes per week by 22.5 minutes per rough sleeper and you get the support worker caseload of 100 rough sleepers per week

The announcement of the £52 million new money over 4 years I discussed and sourced here.  It was also stated by Robert Jenrick and Dame Louise Casey at the daily coronavirus conference one day this week (and in the usual hyperbolic tones.)

Prior to COVID19 Government and it must be said those in cahoots with them rigidly stuck to the 4,266 official one-night count figure of rough sleepers. Now reluctantly government admits to 16,666 as the figure and which is four times more than they were willing to admit previously.

The BBC claimed in February 2020 the actual number of rough sleepers was 28,000 here and I have detailed extensively that the minimum number of rough sleepers England has each year is 35,000.   IF I am right in that 35,000 figure the support worker caseload is 210 rough sleepers.

You don’t have to scour the media to see chief executive upon chief executive praising this new money.  The government announcement on 26 May even saw the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster lauding this government plan and it remains only a matter of time before Dame Louise Casey is beatified it would seem.

As I always say how damn pesky are numbers!




More social than private tenants will be evicted due to COVID19 eviction ban

More tenants in social housing will be evicted than tenants in private rented housing.  This 2 minute read explains why.


Imagine you are a Housing Finance Director for a council or housing association and arrears have gone through the roof due to COVID19.  Thank God for the affordable rent scheme you think as we can evict as many existing tenants paying the social rent level and easily replace them with a new tenant paying the affordable rent level the very next week and which averages 47% more in rent across England.

You also silently pray and give thanks to the Conservative Party for allowing this SR to AR conversion process which every social (sic) landlord can do freely and without any scrutiny as the 200,000 to date conversions have proved.  Your only regret is that you are a Housing Finance Director with housing in an average rent area and so you will only get the 47% uplift in rent.  Oh why couldn’t I work in London say for Clarion Housing Association in Bromley where a 2 bed social rent of £112 per week converts to an affordable rent of £335 per week which the official figures show for 2018/19.

Still you have an easy route now and had long before the COVID19 contagion, a massive financial incentive with the AR conversion process to evict the existing tenant paying the social rent level so you can replace the next week in the exact same property and get 47% more in rent!

You are also smiling inwardly as the end of the 3-month eviction ban sees the typical focus on the proverbially nasty private landlord as the only ones who will evict when you know it is highly likely that the ‘social’ landlord will evict far more than the private landlord due to this average 47% rent increase the AR conversion process allows.

You also smile at the fact the COVID19 eviction ban will have a seismic change on how social landlords allocate properties and you can cherry pick the better more financially sound new tenant at will and who will jump at the chance of the additional security of tenure you can give to the former private sector tenant who will now be giving your bottom line an average 47% more in income.

Yes life is very good for the Housing Finance Directors due to COVID19 and the increase in arrears it brings is very much a short-term issue and will be more than mitigated in a very short period with the AR conversion policy.

It’s Monday 31 May and you scan the housing and national media and note the Chartered Institute of Housing has published a COVID19 recovery plan and which does not say a single word about the SR to AR conversion process in its claimed solutions. How much you enjoyed reading Machiavelli’s Il Principe during the lockdown while clearly the CIH PR team were heavily engrossed in Aristophanes you ponder.

How lucky we are to have 50 years of housing thought which has the central theme of nasty private landlord versus beneficent social landlord being the norm.  Just imagine if the private landlord could have a guaranteed replacement tenant paying 47% more than the existing one and what they would do!  The public would have no doubt the private landlord would evict for this huge financial reward yet they ridiculously believe that ‘social’ landlords won’t do this!  Talk about having their head in the Clouds … but enough of Aristophanes!


Council and housing association landlords WILL evict more tenants than private landlords do as a result of COVID19.  These social (sic) rented sector or SRS landlords have a massive financial incentive to evict and an incentive that is NOT available to the private landlord. 

While the Conservative government policy is still to allow the affordable (sic) rent regime this offensive and systemic incentive to evict the tenant paying the social rent level will see social tenants evicted in huge numbers and record numbers after the end of the eviction ban and many more than by the ‘nasty’ private landlord. 





Government homeless minister has Fuke Hall concern for the rough sleeper

The Homeless Minister Luke Hall gives Fuke Hall to the rough sleeper in a series of seven tweets issued today that I reproduce and I expose for what they are which is woeful and pitiful and deliberately misleading.

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Here is the first tweet and as you can see it is 1 of 7 tweets in a thread

luke hall spelt with an f

The full 7 tweets I have cut and pasted below:-

fuke hall 2

Let’s go through them 1 by 1 with full comment which includes many errors of omission and commission by Fuke Hall and this presumably explains why this is a series of tweets rather than an announcement on the government’s website.

Tweet 1

“Almost 15,000 rough sleepers have been helped into emergency accommodation since the start of the pandemic”

We should accept this figure see here yet with two very important caveats.  Firstly, government were insistent that the figure was 5,400 and without any substantiation they informed the HCLG select committee it was 5,400 too and misled it.  Secondly, even when MHCLG did finally admit the 15,000 figure a few days ago here they still insisted that this represented 90% of rough sleepers that would make the number of rough sleepers to be 16,500 at any one time – a figure I will return to.

Below is Clive Betts the chair of HCLG select committee stating the 5,400 figure just over a week ago and a figure its Interim Report here states and also sees Jon Sparkes the chief executive of Crisis saying it is between 5,400 and 6,000.  The HCLG select committee did NOT at any time query or ask for any evidence of where this 5,400 figure came from not the 5,500 to 6,000 figure stated so assuredly by Jon Sparkes and Crisis.  This 6,000 top-end figure of Crisis equates to just 36% of the now admitted 16,500 (at any one time) rough sleeper number.

betts 5 to 6 thousand

And the Jon Sparkes quote from that Interim Report:-

sparkes 5400 interim report


Tweet 2

“At the weekend, @RobertJenrick announced that we have accelerated our commitment to provide 6,000 units of accommodation for rough sleepers, with 3,300 of these becoming available in the next 12 months.  This is backed by £433m of Government funding (2/7)”

Oh dear. Where to begin!  Government has brought already committed or existing money forward (“accelerating our commitment”) and even if the 3,300 properties are developed it means a minimum of 13,200 rough sleepers will NOT be housed – and neither will any new rough sleeper in the next year.

Firstly, prior to the COVID19 contagion the government only admitted there were 4,266 rough sleepers on the streets yet now admits with its own figures and aims being realised that there will be 13,200 on the streets and three times more rough sleepers in June 2021 than they admitted to in February 2020!

Secondly, England sees some 35,000 rough sleepers each year as a cautious estimate so the actual number by the same June 2021 will be the 13,200 plus a further 35,000 to make 48,200 rough sleepers in England.  This is ELEVEN TIMES the 4,266 number of rough sleepers the government admitted to in February 2020.

Thirdly,  the only NEW funding is £52 million over a 4-year period and to pay for the visiting support to rough sleepers.  This is £13 million per year and for 16,500 rough sleepers equates to a support funding level per week for each rough sleeper of £15.10 and which further equates to 23 minutes of support per rough sleeper per week!


Tweets 3/7 and 4/7 are insignificant so lets go straight to 5/7 and which is hugely significant given the £15.10 support funding and 23 minutes of support per week figures.

Tweet 5/7

“That all move on options are considered, such as returning to friends & family and to find as many sustainable move on options as possible like working with housing assocs to increase the supply of move on accommodation and to consider moves into the private rented sector (5/7)”

Would any housing association or private landlord be reassured that the 23 minutes of visiting support per week is enough reassurance to grant a tenancy to a high and complex need rough sleeper and for no increase in rent?

No! ALL landlords would allocate the property to a new tenant whose risks to tenancy failure, arrears, anti-social behaviour, property trashing, risks to neighbourhood, risk to landlord reputation and every other landlord risk  is far lower than the risks presented by the rough sleeper client group.  To promote the idea that ANY landlord private or social would rehouse the rough sleeper for no extra in rent and a miniscule level of support is a massive deceit by Luke Hall that means the rough sleeper will get Fuke Hall.

Tweets 6 & 7 are also insignificant apart from noting how Luke Hall spells unprecedented (“unpresidented”) and for ending with a new vacuous Twitter hashtag of #endroughsleeping and which only shows how delusional and how much of a snake oil salesman Luke Hall is in believing it is possible to end rough sleeping.


















Rough sleeping is the fault of petulant rough sleepers says Louise Casey. There is nothing like a Dame!

Government this week decided that a rough sleeper needs at most 24 minutes of support each week. In 2001 Government decided that a rough sleeper warranted 21 hours of support each week. A bit of a difference eh? Now then, now then!

NOW – This week £52 million over 4 years was announced as the only new money for rough sleepers as Dame Louise Casey admitted that 15,000 rough sleepers had been housed in hotels and not the absurd 5,400 figure that MGCLG plucked out of thin air and had validated by Crisis.  Divide those figures and £13 million per year between 15,000 comes out at £16 per week of support funding per rough sleeper and 24 minutes of support at the claimed £40 per hour cost of the Housing First visiting support model.

THEN – In 2001 Government issued adjudication guidance to all local authority decision-makers to say a high-level visiting support service such as that needed by a high and complex support need rough sleeper was 21 hours or more per week. That HB circular A47 of 2001 remains the only guidance ever issued on visiting support need or floating support as it was then known.

From 1,260 minutes of housing related support each week down to just 24 minutes is one hell of a cut to the same client group with the same level of support need. It reveals that rough sleeper needs and solutions are as low as they can be on the government priority list.  It also means the obscene level of hope and hyperbole that surrounds this supposed government ‘plan’ which includes the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster stinks to the highest heaven.  It is yet more washing of hands of the great unwashed.

nothing like a dame

There are not 15,000 rough sleepers in England. There are, at a cautious estimate, 35,000 rough sleepers each year in England and the BBC said earlier this year there are 28,000.  The 35,000 number means the support funding of 24 minutes per rough sleeper is just 10 minutes of support per week.

The hyperbolic MHCLG announcement this week said 6,000 new properties will be made available over 4 years with 3,300 in the first year.  Yet 35,000 rough sleepers per year need 35,000 one-bedded properties PER YEAR and the need over this 4 year period is 140,000 one-bedded properties.  The government is therefore seeking kudos for providing 6,000 of this 140,000 and just 4.3% of the actual bricks and mortar need  and which assumes that rough sleeper number remains the same as now and don’t increase as a result of COVID-19 that it inevitably will do.

There are some very easy jibes to be made on how Dame Louise Casey the head of the government Rough Sleeper Taskforce is being portrayed as the second Messiah with the deluded sycophancy of the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster in Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols.  From Faith in the City to Faith in the Absurd is another easy yet nonetheless valid comment.

The sophistry in the MHCLG news release, and by sophistry I mean bullshit of the highest level, makes Pravda look objective.  The narratives allude to rough sleepers as all being young people which is factual nonsense and Dame Louise Casey is extremely offensive in her portrayal of rough sleeping as the fault of the rough sleeper when she says the situation for rough sleeper is an:

 “… extraordinary opportunity to get them to engage with services and rebuild their lives so that they don’t have to return to the streets.”

What planet is Louise Casey on in framing this as the fault of the rough sleeper?  That is as offensive as it gets which then you exacerbate with the inference there are now, today, 15,000 one-bedded properties that have arisen out of the ether to accommodate the 15,000 rough sleepers if only these petulant ne’er do wells would only engage.

Have you converted loaves and fishes to create these 15,000 non-existing properties by some conjuring trick or does this plan simply reek of 2,000 year old fish?

In summary COVID-19 has directly created 15,000 or more immediate rough sleepers as the government-admitted at any one time figure for England and which is 4 times higher than the previously admitted at one time figure of 4,266 of the annual rough sleeper count.  Some of these will be previous sofa surfers who have been evicted in accordance with COVID-19 government guidance to lockdown just with your own immediate household and not allow anybody to doss down on your sofa.  The hidden sofa-surfer has become the visible rough sleeper.

COVID-19 will directly create far more rough sleepers and even before the eviction ban ends as proposed on 25 June 2020 taking the cautiously estimated 35,000 per year in England to perhaps 50,000 or even more each year and a much larger problem than before this contagion appeared.  The government response to it is as offensive and ineffective as it gets in terms of bricks and mortar and the necessary support that rough sleepers need as I barely touch on here.

I make no further comment. There is no need. I simply source and reproduce the output from Casey and MHCLG and the deluded ignorant sycophants below.


The MHCLG announcement is here

The BBC report ishere

A detailed overview of the rough sleeper accommodated and then summarily evicted is here here and here

Rough sleepers have no legal right to a roof over their heads can be read here in a Supreme Court decision and why they WILL be evicted onto the streets as LAs have scant duties toward them

The 21 hours per week support from the HB circular A47 of 2001

a472001 floating support








Government policy is eradicate the rough sleeper and not to eradicate rough sleeping!

Government policy claims to be to eradicate rough sleeping.  The reality is that government policy is to eradicate rough sleepers!

A blink and you’ll miss it announcement yesterday on Saturday 23 May saw Robert Jenrick outline plans to allegedly solve rough sleeping with a less than £6 per day package of support for 6,000 rough sleepers over the next 4 years.

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The announcement says:

The £160 million is part of the £381 million announced at Budget for accommodation for rough sleepers over a four year period. We have brought a substantial proportion of the funding forwards into this year to meet local need given the changed circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and the opportunity this presents. Support funding will still be profiled over 4 years to ensure people get the long term support they need.  The means overall funding increases to £433 million as a result of accelerating the programme. 


Cut through the crap of the announcement hyperbole and we see £52 million of new money over 4 years taking the already announced £381 million to £432 million over this 4 year period. A £13 million per year increase to pay for support to 6,000 rough sleepers, the princely sum of £41.52 in support funding per week per rough sleeper or 1 hour of support per rough sleeper per week and princely in the Machiavellian sense. 

That 1 hour of “support” may see a 15 minute face-to-face session between a support worker and the former rough sleeper if its lucky and is also supposed to reassure landlords, private and social, to offer up their property to a rough sleeper direct from the streets and it will be safe and reasonable to do so for no extra in rent!

This plan takes Cloud Cuckoo Land theory to an entirely new level so reader evaluate for yourself the probability of the headline of 6,000 new properties will be available to include 3,300 in the first year. 

Is it any wonder this government announcement was snuck out on a Saturday immediately ahead of a bank holiday? There are many other problems with this policy which is a government washing of hands of the great unwashed rough sleeper and not least the number of rough sleepers. We have 35,000 rough sleepers each year in England yet Government, the Labour Party, the HCLG select committee all seek to say we have 5,400 to 6,000 which is a lie. In cahoots with this downplaying agenda are Crisis and Homeless Link two of the largest homeless lobbies who are chasing the funding as are the YMCA and other homeless providers.

The COVID-19 government dictat to get all rough sleepers off the streets that has been called “Everybody In” sees some 15,000 accommodated in hotels yet the much lower figure of 5,400 to 6,000 has been issued without any evidence by Jenrick and accepted without any scrutiny by Labour and the HCLG cross-party select committee.  The COVID-19 “Everybody Out” phase that will see 15,000 rough sleepers summarily evicted and back to the streets is called “Step Down” as everybody out is too literal to describe the reality.

The rough sleeper number has been downplayed for years and even the BBC said back in February this year that the 4,266 official count figure was at least 28,000.  It has always been a massaged-down figure without any credibility and neither is the 5,400 hotel “Everybody In” figure of the COVID-19 pandemic which is where I begin as the imminent mass eviction of 15,000 rough sleepers from COVID-19 hotels is the immediate issue facing this rough sleeper alleged solution

3,600 rough sleepers have been placed in London hotels due to the COVID19 pandemic so why is nobody querying the claim that 5,400 rough sleepers have been accommodated for the whole of England?  What innumerate idiots believe two-thirds of all rough sleepers placed in hotels have been in London? To answer my own question, the government, the opposition parties, the HCLG select committee, Crisis, Homeless Link and scores more innumerate idiots believe this 5,400 figure is correct (and many of them have agendas for wanting to believe it.)  The true likely figure is nearer to 15,000 and three times this number.

In an article last week that focused on government offensively attacking journalists for their reporting of the rough sleepers being placed in hotels the respected housing journalist Jules Birch said in Inside Housing:

“In London, for example, councils estimate that they have accommodated 3,600 people but that there are 500 still on the streets at any one time, and not the same 500 in any particular week.

I have a lot of respect for Jules Birch’s work as does everyone in housing and while I agree with his defence of journalists here the fact is Jules missed the much bigger issue that of the Government claim that just 5,400 rough sleepers have been accommodated.  The 5,400 figure has no credibility whatsoever and some 15,000 is a more credible figure and 15,000 rough sleepers will be summarily evicted back to the streets creating a much greater number there than before the pandemic. There is no source or evidence for the 5,400 government figure.  It appeared out of the ether from government and a figure that conforms to the tell a lie often enough and people believe it and when those who believe it are charged with solving the issue such as the HCLG select committee then there is no hope their recommendations could possibly work.

The £13 million of new funding announced compares to the call for £100 million per year as one of the HCLG select committee demands as one of their six recommendations and that £100 million call was woefully inadequate in any case as it was based on the 5,400 number of rough sleepers.

The data we have shows that London councils say they have accommodated 3,600 and been unable to accommodate 500 at any one time. We also know London consistently has 21% to 22% of the England figure in the annual rough sleeper count.  This suggests that the number of rough sleepers accommodated in England is somewhere between 16,364 and 17,143 rough sleepers who have been temporarily housed in Covid19 hotels, unless you choose or want to believe that London has two-thirds of all rough sleepers the 5,400 England total is pie in the sky nonsense.

Within a few days of the Government dictat for local authorities to cleanse the streets of England of the rough sleepers the same Inside Housing were saying that a huge 13,500 rough sleepers had been accommodated in England in the first few days.  I discussed this here along with the District Councils Network estimate of half a million homeless as a result of COVID19 which I argued was an underestimate and it is.  That 13,500 figure was from 7 weeks ago and is likely to be much higher now.

Across England we have seen local authorities release data rightly claiming credit for how quickly they have accommodated and in each case the numbers accommodated have been between 2 to 6 times the local authority’s official one-night count rough sleeper figure and this gives a range of 8,532 to 25,596 and way more than the 5,400 figure which I repeat has no data whatsoever to substantiate it.  Some of the 276 submissions to the HCLG select committee are from councils stating actual numbers and one I read says we normally have 32 rough sleepers but we have accommodated 85 in the period until late April.

It appears that there is not even a clerical assistant at central government who has been given the simplest task of getting numbers of rough sleepers accommodated by each English local authority and populating the simplest spreadsheet to arrive at a total figure for England.  In short nobody knows the number of rough sleepers accommodated across England during this pandemic but the one thing we do know is it is way more than the 5,400 – 6,000 figure government says.

In summary at this point, if Government believes ANY landlord will offer up properties to the rough sleeper cohort – who are correctly perceived as a higher risk tenant – for no extra in rent then they are severely mistaken as it is simply not going to happen and what’s more Government know this.  Some landlords could be persuaded by the reassurance that regular support visits could bring as the property could be checked at the same time, yet the visiting ‘support’ announced equates to at most one 15-minute visit per week (the 1 hour includes travelling time and all other admin time) and provides zero landlord reassurance.

To elaborate ‘support’ is THE most vital aspect not the bricks and mortar for a former rough sleeper or indeed any high needs client group.  In the year 2000 and 20 years ago the then government issued guidance to local authority decision-makers on visiting support then called floating support in HB circular A47 which said that a high need floating (visiting) support service which is what rough sleepers require was 21 hours or more per week.  Yesterdays announcement if for 1 hour at most per week by stark comparison and is a drop in the ocean in terms of efficacy of support to the rough sleeper and provides no landlord reassurance whatsoever for them to offer up their properties.


Prior to this sneaked out and hasty announcement I had looked in-depth at the HCLG select committee Interim Report (HCLG-IR) and this cross-party document and enquiry was and is a whitewash.  It called for £100 million per year to include support AND capital funding to bring back empty properties for rough sleeper use for example yet it was based wholly on the acceptance of the 5,400 to 6,000 rough sleeper number which is an absurd number and absurd premise for any solution as the actual number of rough sleepers is 6 times higher each year just in England.

Reader, the Jenrick and MHCLG sneak announcement has spared you of a terse 3000+ word destruction of the HCLG select committee report that could easily have been 20,000 words on the farce and whitewash it is.

From 2000 to 2003 I developed and priced-up hundreds of support services including scores of rough sleeper and other single homeless services in the THBS / Supporting People programme.  My expertise in this niche area was well known if not infamous at the time and I was subsequently invited to join the government team on this in 2002 that I refused.  The provider clients I advised across the country received 5% of the total SP support funding pot of £1.8 billion and some £93 million per year.  I therefore write with confidence in my arguments that the £100 million HCLG-IR ask was pitiful and also that landlords will not be reassured by the less than £6 per day in support funding to one-sixth of the actual number of English rough sleepers we have each year.

I can also state that this £13 million per year of rough sleeper support funding for 2020 to 2024 is far less in actual terms than was being funding 20 years ago (from memory £59 million and £99 million in real terms today) and without the need to delve in the paper-based document archives I have in storage the support-only level of 20 years ago is what the HCLG select committee using pitiful figures from Crisis thought was enough for rough sleeper ongoing support AND to pay for thousands of empty properties to be brought back into use with capital funding!

The current government is also wedded to the policy of banning no-fault evictions still and this will also see private landlords take flight from accommodating the rough sleeper and all other single homeless cohorts as they all become riskier tenants due directly to the inability to get rid of them the no fault eviction policy creates.

The private landlord in England rehouses 90% of England’s single homeless each year and just 10% flight from PRS landlords means social landlords have to DOUBLE the 13,000 per year they currently accommodate.  If its 20% PRS landlord flight then social landlords have to TREBLE the number of single homeless they accommodate. I would estimate greater than 50% PRS flight from the single homeless tenant group which includes the rough sleeper when no fault evictions are banned. When social landlords don’t step up as they can’t due to decades of not building the one-bed property unless they sub-divide tens of thousands of existing properties, which they won’t do, then we could easily see 50,000 or even 75,000 rough sleepers in England each year very quickly and way above the pre-COVID19 best estimate of 35,000 per year.

The government announcement is not just inadequate and have zero chance of working, it amounts to a cull of the rough sleeper by death on the streets – the eradication of the rough sleeper not the eradication of rough sleeping IS government policy.

UPDATE – Within 1o minutes of releasing the above Jon Sparkes the chief executive of Crisis releases this series of tweets:

Sparkes crisis rs announcemnt

Thankfully, Reader this level of sycophantic bullshit spares you the need to say how native and fifth-columnist and truly incompetent Crisis is when it comes to single homelessness.  They are a truly offensive reprehensible organisation who care not a jot for the rough sleeper or any other form of single homeless.  Jon Sparkes must go!

UPDATE – Monday 25 May

To further evidence my point about the incredulous government claims over number of rough sleepers I have just seen a West Midlands Combined Authority article  (WMCA) dated 23 May 2020 which says:

More than 800 existing or potential rough sleepers have been housed by local authorities in the region throughout the crisis…”

The official rough sleeper count figure as at August 2019 for the seven councils who make up WMCA is / was 115.  So the 7 councils in the West Midlands have accommodated SEVEN TIMES the number of rough sleepers in hotels than their combined official rough sleeper count figures!

UPDATE 26 May 2020

Look here!  In this BBC website article Dame Louise Casey admits I was right over the £52 million extra money (though she does NOT say this is over 4 years which it is) AND she also confirms that 15,000 rough sleepers have been accommodated and not the 5,400 to 6,000 figure that Robert Jenrick lies about and the figure that Crisis and the HCLG committee also accept.

The Casey issue

casey 25 May 2020

And here’s the chair of the HCLG select committee stating it was the absurd 5,400 to 6,000 figure

betts 5 to 6 thousand

And here is the Tory 5th columnist Jon Sparkes evidence to the HCLG select committee

sparkes 5400 interim report

Keep being effusive Jon Sparkes and how do you not hurt your elbow by sitting on it all the time?

UPDATE 27 MayLancaster City Council 37 rough sleepers housed, official count 6!










The Housing First Model CANNOT work in England

The Housing First model CANNOT work in England and here I say why in the simplest way possible.

Warning: What follows is basic arithmetic and plenty of stating the bloody obvious so those who say Housing First can or will work can understand the folly of their beliefs.

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The Housing First Model (HFM) is a claimed solution to single person homelessness and as its name suggests it provides a house first, a self-contained one bedroom property, and then visiting support is provided to the vulnerable person for as long it is needed.

The numerous lobbies for HFM use the diagram below that also attempts to compare it to the (stair-cased) Hostel Resettlement Model (HRM) which is a staged-model in use for single homeless persons and also in domestic abuse refuges, the two main emergency accommodation services.

HF model staircase

The theory of the model is fine in (extremely superficial) principle BUT it is entirely and 100% dependent on the self-contained 1-bed properties being available (and the landlord being willing to rent to them) and this is where the basic arithmetic part comes in.

All single homeless cohorts (groups) which include the rough sleeper, the hostel dweller and around one-third of all in refuges number 140,000+ in England each year at a very cautious estimate.  It means just in England we need to find 140,000 self-contained 1-bedded properties each year for them to escape homelessness – aka stating the obvious.

Some HFM proponents seek to limit it to just the rough sleeper group and ignore all other single homeless cohorts.  That number is 28,000 each year according to this recent BBC article in February 2020 (though a figure of 35,000+ is more probable) which means we need 28,000 self-contained 1-bed properties for the Housing First Model each year for just rough sleepers and just in England.

Crisis, the national homelessness lobby and who promote HFM at every turn and want the HFM model only and all hostel resettlement models closed, released the Moving On report in 2017 and which referenced the official figure that the social rented sector allocated 13,000 properties only to all single homeless groups in 2016/17.  This is a consistent figure over many years and in fact the number of SRS allocations per year has fallen since suggesting it will be less so basic arithmetic means the private landlord is needed to house the rough sleeper.

Going back to the Housing First Model and at its narrowest rough sleeper client only the simplest question emerges.  Why would a private landlord accommodate a much higher risk tenant in the rough sleeper for no extra rent?  Yet that is the assumption that the HFM proponents make.

If you can name any other industry where the supplier is willing to take on much higher risk yet receive no additional financial reward then please let me know! The same question and issue also applies to the social landlord.  Why would a council or housing association accommodate the much riskier tenant for no extra in rent?  The simple answer is no landlord will do this.

Again let’s go back to the diagram that the HFM advocates choose to use to explain the much higher risk rough sleeper client. In the Hostel Resettlement Model the rough sleeper client gains a level of stability for their mental health / drug or alcohol misuse / all other support needs as well a roof over their head.  They have on-site and often 24/7 and 365 day a year support availability too.  By the time they are ready to ‘move-on’ from the hostel to a tenancy of their own they are a much lower risk to the tenancy from the stability the HRM gives than the tenant  who is given a Housing First property directly from the street.

Factor in the landlord risk of the proposal to outlaw the no-fault eviction – a policy that the usual suspects and all political parties support – the serving of a section 21 Notice on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) the dominant tenure.  The natural and common-sense business decision is the much more constrained ability to get rid of the problem tenant sees the landlord take a much lower risk tenant in the first place. This obvious consequence also see the basic arithmetic at play to explain how disastrous the banning of no fault eviction is for single homelessness.

The basic arithmetic above sees England create at least 140,000 single homeless persons each year yet only 13,000 are rehoused and escape homelessness by the social landlord.  It means the private landlord rehouses 130,000 and some 90% of all single homeless.  If the private landlord after no fault eviction becomes statute takes just 10% flight from the far riskier tenant that the single homeless person becomes it means the PRS will house 13,000 fewer single homeless tenants.  That, in turn means the SRS landlords who now house 13,000 will need to house 26,000 single homeless tenants each year.

A 10% reduction in single homeless persons by the PRS means a 100% increase or DOUBLING is needed by the SRS landlords who are the only other option.  A 20% reduction is 26,000 fewer and means the SRS landlords need to rehouse 39,000 instead of 13,000 – a TRIPLING of the current number!

This basic arithmetic and numerical fact explained above is also stating the bloody obvious as to why the Housing First Model CANNOT work in England, yet these facts are outside the deluded logic and crass superficiality of the HFM ‘experts’ who comprise the homeless ‘great and good’ in England and who are also the usual delusional suspects.

I mean Shelter, Crisis, Homeless Link, homeless activists and of course the politicians especially those who are on the various select committees and all party parliamentary groups for housing and homelessness.  Robert Jenrick the minister at MHCLG stated how much he wants Housing First at the HCLG select committee just last week.

Robert Jenrick the minister at MHCLG extolled the alleged virtues of HFM in an announcement late on Christmas Eve 2019 here which said 200 rough sleepers will now spend Christmas off the streets – a heart-warming story you may think until you look at the facts of how the 3 large-scale pilots he was referring to have found a totally inconsequential number of 200 in 15 months and at an average support only cost of some £900 per week!

None of these usual suspects take any heed of basic arithmetic fact  – even when the costs per person would be cheaper to accommodate the rough sleeper in residential care – and stating the obvious landlord practice (private and social) which means the Housing First Model CANNOT work in any possible way in England even for just the one-quarter of all single homeless persons which is the rough sleeper cohort.    They are noticeably silent on the other 75% of single homeless that is not the rough sleeper yet nobody appears to notice or question the usual suspects on this! Why?

In the immediate aftermath of the announcement that central government is pulling the funding plug for the rough sleepers temporarily housed in hotels due to COVID19 and which means summary eviction back to the streets we find ALL the usual suspects banging the Housing First drum even louder.

An Observer article this weekend by Bob Blackman and Neil Coyle the Conservative and Labour chairs of the homeless APPG extol the virtues of HFM here in the usual hyperbolic and moralistic delusion of fact.

Blackman says:

“It is my belief that the housing first model is the way to deal with what will be needed after coronavirus,” he said. “Here, people who are rough sleeping are taken off the street and given a property, and then assessed as to what their needs are. Support is then placed around them, and any medical needs are attended to so that they can recover and move on to a normal way of life”

Neil Coyle says:

Neil Coyle, the Labour co-chair of the group, said the pandemic had shown that “when political will is there, it is almost possible to alleviate all rough sleeping in a week”.

Crisis, Shelter and Homeless Link do the same and repeatedly extol the alleged virtues of the HFM in article upon article, yet lo and behold not one of them mentions the basic arithmetic and stating the obvious that means Housing First CANNOT work in England.

In summary, we have seen nothing but superficial snake oil selling of the Housing First model and not one jot of practical consideration for basic arithmetic or typical landlord practice.  The model simply CANNOT work in England with its housing conditions and now we find in response to the callous pulling of the funding plug to accommodate rough sleepers in hotels sees the same old, same old delusional hope and hype of the superficial as it gets Housing First Model trotted out as deflection to this callous funding pull.

… and the same old usual suspects of Shelter, Crisis, Homeless Link et al tug their forelocks at this and yet again collude in this deceit … plus ca change!

The mass summary eviction of rough sleepers begins

As I predicted on the day that central government gave the dictat to local government to get rough sleepers off the streets we now see central government have pulled the plug on the funding.

Before the weekend can we  expect 15,000+ rough sleepers on the streets? Probably!

The pulling of the funding plug was reported an hour or so ago by the Manchester Evening News here and then Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson mentioned this on his twitter account that it has happened in Liverpool.  By the time I finish typing this quick draft we will find it is England wide.

men picture

Source: Picture used on the MEN article

There is no announcement from the minister Robert Jenrick or from the MHCLG department he heads up yet I very strongly suspect the reason is the cost and as I predicted on 27 March the day after the dictat to cleanse the streets of rough sleepers was given.

rs pullthe plug

The issue is the LIES that every local authority has colluded with the government over the rough sleeper numbers and the annual count – the “Autumn 2019 snapshot” stated above.  The government guidance I reproduced then and again here says clearly that the funding for rough sleeper hotels would be limited to the last count figure.  I stated then it was ominous and to me very clear and so it has proved to be.

In that first post and in many subsequent ones I have detailed how this will lead to never ever before seen levels of rough sleepers on the streets and how there is nowhere else for them to go due to the systemic impact of the Jenrick 3-month eviction ban that to all intents and purposes has created a housing moves ban.  See here, here, here and here among a few more.

I also said the District Councils Network who predicted 500,000 homeless had underestimated and they have as we will very shortly find out.  And imagine the gatekeeping that every local council is now going to operate. Oh and imagine how much greater that will be due to (correctly) giving all domestic abuse cases priority need.  Oh and when the truly idiotic current government bring in the banning of no fault evictions watch the homeless numbers double on top of this too!

If you can’t move them out then you can’t move anyone in is what the eviction ban has created – a systemic problem that will see a huge increase in rough sleeping and single homelessness as a permanent, that is systemic problem.

There are no other words for this than the shit has hit the largest fan you can imagine.

I shall resist a well-deserved diatribe against all those naïve delude idiots in Crisis, Homeless Link and the Labour Party as well as many others who said the accommodating of rough sleepers and other vulnerable homeless persons in hotels meant we can end rough sleeping or twee phrases such as rough sleeping is only a political problem or ivory tower claptrap that housing is a human right and all the rest of the claptrap that spewed forth from the oh so many ‘expert’ lobbies, practitioners and academics whose want is to utter such bilge.

There are far quite frankly far too many deluded idiots to call out!

UPDATE – The HCLG committee met Monday 4th May and video here

At the outset Jenrick says we will pay LAs for what we asked them to do (the dictat) but not for what we didn’t ask them to do (see 14:30 – 14:35pm) – see my original point of paying JUST to the discredited rough sleeper count numbers I mentioned on Day 1 and reproduced above.

For issues regarding the rough sleepers in hotels and the Step Down (mass summary eviction) see 16:04pm onwards from Jenrick and in which he idiotically says how much faith he has in Housing First (type) solutions and at 16.11pm onwards truly perversely says that if LAs want to continue paying for hotels they can use the discretionary powers and funding they have for the Cold Weather protocol!

He also says there is a significant capacity issue (which of course makes move-on and HF impossible) and says rough sleepers in the Step Down phase will be accommodated in the most humane way possible which he always knew was going to be back on the streets!  In short, he couldn’t give a shit!