In our society, we should all have a safe place to call home. It’s not right that thousands of us are experiencing homelessness – sleeping in dangerous places like cars, tents or buses; stuck in emergency accommodation; forced to sleep on friends’ sofas and floors or even staying out on the streets.
High housing costs and low wages put constant pressure on us, like water pressing against a dam.
Without some help, the dam can break, forcing people into homelessness. As a result, thousands of people across Britain have no place to call home.
Homelessness affects your health, your relationships and your future. Without the safety and security of a stable home, it’s almost impossible to rebuild your life. And for many, homelessness is a death sentence – 726 people died while homeless in England and Wales in 2018.
But homelessness is not inevitable. In England by the late 2000s we’d nearly ended rough sleeping, and many countries and cities around the world have ended some forms of homelessness.
The next Government has the power to make sure that everybody in our society has a safe and stable home, by putting in place a plan that commits to:
- Improving access to truly affordable housing, by building at least 90,000 social homes a year over the next five years, and improving security for tenants in the private rented sector
- Strengthening support through the welfare system, through housing benefit that covers the cost of rent and fixing Universal Credit so that it doesn’t push people into homelessness
- Providing long-term, guaranteed funding for services which prevent homelessness and quickly get people off the street and into a stable home.
If nothing changes, thousands more of us will be pushed into homelessness. It’ll need long-term investment, and a joined-up approach across government – but by changing the system, we can #EndHomelessness for good.
Homelessness charities are calling on every political party to #EndHomelessness, and to publish a plan setting out how they’ll do this within the first year of government.