Labour: Homeless crisis a test of our humanity

Posted On: 
13th March 2016
Almost a million people will become homeless by 2020 unless the Government takes action, according to Labour.

Some 275,000 families were affected by homelessness last year, up from 200,000 in 2010. 

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On the latest estimate, 3,659 people were sleeping rough in a night in Autumn last year - double the number for 2010.

Labour argued if the numbers continue on their current trajectory, 391,000 families will be homeless by 2020/21.​

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey said the soaring figures should “shake the Chancellor from his complacency”.

He said: “This spiralling scale of homelessness shames us all when Britain is one of the richest countries in the world. It is a test of our basic humanity...

“The homeless figures hide personal stories of hurt and hopelessness; thousands of people whose ordinary lives have fallen apart from illness, debt, family break-up, addiction or redundancy.”

Homelessness charity Crisis argued the question of who will house the poorest was "becoming an increasingly urgent one”.

The Local Government Association’s spokesman for housing, councillor Peter Box, said councils were "facing real difficulties" in coping with the crisis.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “Homelessness is less than half its peak in 2003, but one person without a home is one too many.  

"That’s why we have increased central government funding to tackle homelessness over the next four years to £139m, and protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities at £315m by 2019-20.”

Next week’s Budget will contain measures to tackle homelessness, reports have claimed.