Evidence base for preventing homelessness and rough sleeping strategy

20. Looking ahead

The evidence base captures current statistics and trends; it’s also important to consider what is changing in the wider context and the impact this might have. This has been done at a detailed level, mainly as part of the consultation (more information below). It is tricky to do at a wider level, partly because the longer-term impacts of the pandemic remain uncertain. While it seems likely that more people will continue to work from home, at least some of the time, this is likely to be less the case for those in lower-paid and insecure employment. Some landlords are beginning to look at design and lettings criteria to facilitate home working but the intense pressure on social housing means that routine under-occupation (to allow for a bedroom to be used as a home office, for example) is less likely.

The pandemic has increased the pace of channel shift for customers, with more people accessing information on-line. This is reflected in the strategy, which prioritises reviewing and strengthening this information. During the life of the strategy, it is likely that artificial intelligence (AI) will begin to be used in homelessness, but it is unlikely that it will have been widely adopted. The role of AI is certainly something that will need to be considered when the post-2025 strategy is being drawn up.