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21 June, 2024 Open access

Election 2024: Housing sector calls on next government to take urgent action to end homelessness and rough sleeping

Recommendations to leaders of main political parties include provision of long-term ring-fenced funding and adoption of cross-government strategy to be led by new taskforce

More than 50 housing organisations - including Homeless Link, Shelter, Crisis and the National Housing Federation - have called on the leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties to take urgent action to end homelessness and rough sleeping should they form the next government.

In an open letter to Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak and Ed Davey, the housing organisations note that, while rough sleeping has risen by 60 per cent over the last two years, and a record number of people (including 145,000 children) are currently experiencing homelessness -

'... the homelessness sector has contracted significantly. The latest research from Homeless Link found that the number of bed spaces for people experiencing single homelessness has decreased by 26 per cent since 2010. With pressure on services growing, 71 per cent of accommodation projects reported having to turn someone away from support because their project was full.'

The letter goes on to say -

'We recognise that whoever forms the next government will have many competing priorities. But the impact of homelessness leaks across public life; from placing huge extra strain on the NHS, to crippling local authority finances, to preventing people from finding secure employment. Ending homelessness doesn’t just make sense morally, research from PwC shows that every £1 invested in ending homelessness generates an estimated £2.80 in wider savings and benefits across departments.'

As a result, the organisations call on the next government to -

For more information, see Over 50 homelessness organisations sign letter to party leaders from homeless.org.uk

Update (25 June 2024) - 119 organisations working in the fields of homelessness and migrants’ rights have also today written to the leaders of the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat parties urging whoever forms the next Government to address the issue of migrant homelessness and to ensure that the asylum and immigration systems no longer drive people needlessly into homelessness and destitution.

#election2024 #manifesto