William Eichler 29 January 2018

Labour pledges 8,000 homes for rough sleepers

Labour pledges 8,000 homes for rough sleepers

Labour have pledged to deliver 8,000 new homes for rough sleepers in a bid to cut the dramatically increasing numbers of people forced to sleep on the streets.

The main opposition party made the announcement at the weekend and insisted it was part of their plan to end rough sleeping within their first term in office.

A Labour Government would strike a deal with housing associations to make the homes available as soon as they fell vacant, a party statement said.

Replacements would be funded via Labour’s national housing programme.

This announcement comes as figures this week have revealed rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 and is up 73% in the last three years.

The number of children stuck in hostels and other temporary accommodation has risen by 70% to over 120,000.

The new homes would involve ‘move-on’ housing for people leaving homelessness hostels.

Labour would also introduce a new type of programme used in the US and on the European continent called ‘housing first’. This is where rough sleepers with complex needs are moved into permanent accommodation quickly to give them a fresh start.

‘Homelessness shames us all but should shame Conservative ministers most,’ said Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing John Healey.

‘It is 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.

‘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.’

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