Labour

Labour pledges to tackle homelessness



The Labour party has announced plans to make 8,000 affordable homes available to help curb the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets.

The plans would see the next Labour government strike an agreement with housing associations to make the homes available as soon as they become vacant, with replacements funded via Labour’s national housing programme.

This agreement would see the required houses become available quicker, rather than waiting for them to be built from scratch.

Labour felt the present government would be able to commence these plans and fund replacements using part of the £2bn set aside for social housing by the prime minister at the Conservative party conference last year.

The new homes would be separated into ‘move-on’ housing – for people leaving homelessness hostels – and ‘housing first’ – permanent housing for rough sleepers with complex needs.

“The rising number of people sleeping on the streets and on park benches shames us all,” said John Healey, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing.

“There can be no excuses – we can end it and we must.

“Homelessness shames us all, but should shame Conservative ministers most.

“It is [a] direct consequence of decisions made by the Tories on housing, and on funding for charities and councils.

“Under the last Labour government, years of sustained action cut rough sleeping by three-quarters, but it has more than doubled since 2010.

Mr Healey continued: “You can’t help the homeless if you don’t provide the homes.

“A Labour government would put a stop to this national scandal and provide those who need it most with a place to call home.

“If Theresa May is serious about fixing our rough sleeping crisis, she should back Labour’s plans to make more homes available for the homeless.”


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