Saturday, 20 December 2014

Charity calls for action on homelessness

Homeless Link is to present the government with a manifesto outlining how to tackle homelessness over the next 10 years.

The umbrella organisation for homelessness charities has mapped out steps that need to be taken to end homelessness against a backdrop of service cuts, welfare reform and rising homelessness.

The report, A place to call your home, will call for all political parties to make housing a priority at the next election and to commit to increased investment if they are elected.

It catalogues measures that should be taken over the next three, five and 10 years.

By 2016 the report calls for the government to introduce incentives to ensure that people leaving agencies are provided with the necessary support. It also asks that a reconnection service is available in every region for destitute migrants.

The report wants the commissioning of NHS services to take into account and respond to the needs of homeless people, and for local authorities to help house people regardless of their legal duty.

By 2023 the report recommends that there should be a new system of private sector regulation to guarantee minimum standards, and more institutional investors providing funding for social and other forms of affordable housing.

The report states: ‘Funding cuts threaten a postcode lottery of support. Welfare reform and the introduction of universal credit could add to the problem. However, we can prevent this from happening.’

Homeless Link will launch the report to MPs and sector officials at a parliamentary reception on Tuesday.

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