On Thursday 07 February there was a Westminster Hall debate on rough sleeping. The Local Government Association (LGA) issued a briefing which was quoted by Neil Coyle MP, who reiterated the LGA view that homelessness is a prominent sign of the nation’s housing crisis.
The LGA's key messages are:
Councils are providing temporary housing for over 82,000 households, including over 123,000 children.
The LGA's latest analysis demonstrates that homelessness support (including temporary accommodation) faces a funding gap of £110 million in 2019/20, and £421 million in 2024/25.
Rough sleeping is the most visible sign of the rise in homelessness. The LGA welcome the Government’s rough sleeping strategy, and share the ambition to end rough sleeping by 2027.iii The strategy includes some encouraging proposals, but lacks substantive measures to ensure that fewer people reach the point of crisis.
Councils want to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place. This means allowing councils to build more social homes for people on low incomes. To achieve this, the Government should allow councils to retain 100 per cent of the proceeds from Right to Buy sales.