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Crisis calls for an end to homelessness within the next 10 years

The charity Crisis has called on the Government to commit to ending homelessness within the next decade.

In a new report published today (11 June) the charity warns 236,000 people across England, Scotland, and Wales are currently experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, including living on the streets, in cars and tents, or in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

The report also calls on the governments of England, Scotland and Wales to produce an action plan that, once delivered, will get everybody who is homeless into a safe and stable home within 10 years.

In order to achieve this, it recommends building 100,500 social homes each year for the next 15 years to meet the needs of both homeless people and the wider cohort of people in Britain on low incomes.

It also recommends the national rollout of Housing First, which would benefit more than 18,000 homeless people, by providing homes that come with a package of specialised support.

‘For the first time ever, we have a comprehensive plan that shows exactly how we can address the root causes of homelessness and make it a thing of the past,’ said Crisis chief executive, Jon Sparkes.

‘Other parts of the world are taking huge strides towards ending it, and Britain can too. We must not become a society that simply accepts homelessness as “a sad fact of life”, because the good news is that we know it doesn’t have to be this way,” added Mr Sparkes.

‘It’s been inspiring to see the recent surge in public support and political will to tackle homelessness, including strong commitments from all three governments. Now is the time to build on those commitments. With the right measures in place, we can do what it takes to end homelessness and make sure that no one in Britain has to face it again.’

The report by Crisis has been published as the Local Government Association warns two-thirds of councils will have no chance of replacing homes sold off under Right to Buy unless a significant restructuring of the scheme takes place.

Commenting on the Crisis report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s deputy director of policy and research, Chris Goulden, said: ‘Too many people in this country are living without a secure home, unable to build a better life. JRF’s report just last week found that over one and a half million people were destitute in 2017, meaning they were unable to provide the bare essentials for themselves and their families. That’s just wrong.

‘As a country we believe in justice and compassion, protecting people from harm. We have a shared responsibility to ensure everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, particularly at times of crisis. The ambitions of our politicians should reflect these values, so that much-needed action is taken end homelessness.’

You can read the full Crisis report here.

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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