Westminster Social Policy Forum

Reducing homelessness and rough sleeping in England - policy implementation, progress and next steps

Morning, Friday, 28th February 2020

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR


This conference will examine the implementation of policy on reducing homelessness and rough sleeping in England - and what can be learned from the experience of stakeholders so far.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to consider the progress of policy and next steps, with the new government committed to ending rough sleeping by the end of this parliament.

Delegates will discuss:

  • Implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) following the consultation on its progress - amid growing concerns reported among councils about current funding;
  • The Rough Sleeping Strategy and delivery plan setting out the government approach to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027, with a recent funding top-up; and
  • Progress with the government backed Housing First pilot schemes.

Speakers and chair

There will be keynote contributions from Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Shelter; David Eastwood, Rough Sleeping Lead, Housing & Land, Greater London Authority and Aileen Murphie, Director, MHCLG & Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office.

Further speakers include: Tim Baldwin, Garden Court Chambers; Imogen Blood, Imogen Blood & Associates; Heather Bowman, Sovereign Housing Association; Simon Clark, Sanctuary Group; Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council; Tom Copley AM, GLA Oversight Committee; Cat Drew, Design Council; Doug Gibson, Homeless Network Scotland; John Stewart, Residential Landlords Association and Rory Weal, St Mungo’s.

The chairs are: Lord McNicol of West Kilbride and The Baroness Grender.

The agenda

  • Homelessness - current trends and emerging issues;
  • Local approaches, value for money, duty to refer and challenges for implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act;
  • Housing first - progress on domestic initiatives and learning from international best practice;
  • The No Nights Sleeping Rough Taskforce and wider priorities for tackling homelessness in London;
  • Rough sleeping and substance use - research into rising number of deaths, protecting vulnerable groups and working with third sector partners;
  • The developing role of the private rented sector - tackling rogue landlords and ending ‘no-fault’ evictions; and
  • Priorities for homelessness policy in the capital.

Engagement with policy officials attending this conference

Westminster Social Policy Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons and officials who have reserved places representing: MHCLG; HMPPS; Home Office; Homes England; ONS; CMA; DIT; DWP; Government Legal Department;; MoJ; NAO; Office for Statistics Regulation; Regulator of Social Housing and The Scottish Government.

Keynote Speaker

Polly Neate

Chief Executive, Shelter

Keynote Speakers

David Eastwood

Rough Sleeping Lead, Housing & Land, Greater London Authority

Aileen Murphie

Director, MHCLG & Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office

Polly Neate

Chief Executive, Shelter


Lord McNicol of West Kilbride

The Baroness Grender


Simon Clark

Group Director, Housing, Sanctuary Group

Richard Clewer

Deputy Leader, Wiltshire Council

Rory Weal

Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer, St Mungo’s

Tim Baldwin

Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Heather Bowman

Chief Operating Officer, Sovereign Housing Association

Tom Copley AM

Member, GLA Oversight Committee

John Stewart

Policy Manager, Residential Landlords Association

Imogen Blood

Founder and Director, Imogen Blood & Associates

Doug Gibson

Partnerships Manager, Homeless Network Scotland

Cat Drew

Chief Design Officer, Design Council