This report builds on the prevention agenda established through the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) and seeks to help shape future thinking by the Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce on a cross-government homelessness prevention agenda. As a result, the recommendations are primarily focused at the Westminster Government. The report is aimed at ministerial representatives and senior civil servants from across Whitehall as well as local authorities and other public authorities in England. Depending on the jurisdiction of each government department, in some cases they will be able to affect change across the UK, but in others they will be restricted to policy change in England, or in England and Wales. In these instances, further reform would need to be introduced by the relevant devolved administrations.
In this report, we focus specifically on five government departments that could play a central role in preventing homelessness for a significant proportion of people. These are the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Home Office and the Department for Education. We have chosen to focus on these departments as they all work with groups of people who are at a greater risk of homelessness. This includes prison leavers, care leavers, newly recognised refugees and people on low incomes in receipt of benefits.