Towards the end of last month, the Centre for Homelessness Impact shared an article written by Conservative MP, Bob Blackman, which called for urgent action to be taken to prevent a surge in the already rising homelessness issue. This has been an ongoing concern of Liverpool-based developer, Pathway Homes Group (PHG), since Covid-19 first spread throughout the U.K. in early 2020.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a clear reduction in the homelessness issue, with those facing homelessness finding temporary shelter through the intervention of the government and local authorities throughout the country. When the government implemented its “Everyone In” strategy as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we witnessed how fast the most severe forms of homelessness could be addressed and dealt with given the necessary political and public will. As Blackman stated, as of January 2021, more than 26,000 people had been moved into temporary supported housing or accommodation. However, 11,000 still remained in emergency/temporary accommodation with no definite housing stability.

In the sixteen months since Covid-19 first spread throughout the country, local authorities were rightfully praised for the measures they introduced to intervene and address homelessness, yet growing concerns remain that life after Covid-19 will see a major surge in the homelessness issue.

Rhodri Andrews, Communications Manager at PHG, stated: “the introduction of the “Everyone In” scheme ensured that an eviction ban was implemented, which meant that everybody living in social and privately rented accommodation would not face evictions and homelessness during such unprecedented times of the global pandemic. However, with the eviction ban coming to an end last month, it seems very likely that we will see rates of homelessness increase unless urgent action is taken.”

In his role as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Ending Homelessness, Blackman is determined to address and put plans in place to end the homelessness issue. Within the article shared by the Centre for Homelessness Impact, he stated: “When I began work researching the Private Members Bill that led to the Homelessness Reduction Act, I was repeatedly surprised by how dated homelessness law was and how long had passed since proper scrutiny by lawmakers had occurred.

“My work on the Bill, and more recently in my role as co-chair of the APPG for Ending Homelessness, has sought to address that outdated legislation by driving local authorities toward preventative action on homelessness and focussing resources on ensuring that such prevention is evidence-formed. But there is still work to be done”.

For Blackman, in order for the homelessness issue to be completely eradicated in the U.K., the correct evidence must be collected beforehand. He continued: “Much is known about the root causes of homelessness, but when it comes to prevention, the lack of a strong, accurate evidence base has created an obstacle when it comes to implementing and assessing the impact of policy decisions. This is why a more comprehensive collection of data is so vital”.

Blackman concluded that the APPG will continue to urge the government to take the required action to reduce, prevent and ultimately end homelessness in the U.K. He has suggested that in order to implement a coherent strategy to address the homelessness situation, the necessary data must be collected.

PHG’s Rhodri Andrews said: “Pathway Homes Group is proud to support Bob Blackman’s #enditwithevidence campaign. As a leading developer that provides sustainable housing for those facing or at risk of homelessness, we are committed to our pledge to deliver essential homes and living arrangements for those most in need. We already have exciting plans in place for future developments around the country and are looking forward to playing our part in reducing homelessness”.