A framework for ending homelessness

How do we measure progress towards ending homelessness for good?

There have been many pledges to end homelessness and rough sleeping over the years. While progress has been made, none have seen sustainable success.

As a What Works Centre, we look for inspiration from other areas where extraordinary results have been achieved. We learned that, to be successful, you need a clear articulation of your goal and robust measures to track whether what you’re doing is working.

Photograph of a young adult who is experiencing homelessness leaning against a wall and smiling at the camera

“When we've not made progress, it’s because we haven’t figured out what needs to change and measured our progress towards it.”


We need a definition

That’s why we have developed a clear and measurable definition of what the goal of ‘ending homelessness and rough sleeping’ means in practice. This shared meaningful goal provides the common language and focus that is needed to align efforts to end homelessness and rough sleeping.

the definition

Ending rough sleeping by preventing it wherever possible and, where it cannot be prevented, making it a rare, brief, and non-recurrent experience.

How can we measure progress?

We have worked with partners across the UK to co-design a simple but powerful set of indicators that will allow any area to understand how effectively homelessness and rough sleeping is in the area and track their efforts towards ensuring that, if it does occur, it is a measurably rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.

By working with the same definition and set of indicators about what it means to end homelessness you can experiment and compare what works and what doesn’t in areas facing similar challenges.


Reduce the prevalence of people experiencing homelessness in the first place.


Directly tracking the prevalence of homelessness nationally and locally.


Identify people experiencing homelessness and supporting them into accommodation.


Support people who have previously been homeless to not return to homelessness.

How will each nation measure progress?

Each nation in the UK has a slightly different way of measuring progress due to different policy commitments.

Soon we will be launching an interactive data dashboard that will take the elements of the framework and explore the data within them by local area. Get in touch If you want to stay updated on the progress of this work.


As of March 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has been working with CHI to define how to meaningfully tackle rough sleeping in England.

View England's Framework


Coming soon


Coming soon

Northern Ireland

Coming soon

Additional Reading


March 13, 2023

Using data to end long-term rough sleeping

In this blog, Fraser Nicholson, details the challenges faced by seaside towns like Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole, and how they're using the Ending Rough Sleeping Framework to help tackle the complex issue of rough sleeping.

Read more

February 28, 2023

Using data to guide and track work to end rough sleeping

Find out more about a new data-driven approach that will give fresh insights into the nature of rough sleeping in each area of England and help local leaders drive progress towards ending it. 

Read more

February 28, 2023

New data points the way to ending rough sleeping for good

A new data-driven approach to tackling rough sleeping will give fresh insights into the nature of rough sleeping in each area of England and help local leaders drive progress towards ending it.

Read more