The CrisisBlog

The Crisis Blog: conversations on matters related to homelessness.

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Vicky Foxcroft @VickyFoxcroft Vicky Foxcroft is the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford.

We need to eradicate homelessness once and for all

I don’t believe that any politician from any political party would say that people being homeless is a good thing.

But what people need from politicians are solutions that ensure homelessness is eradicated once and for all.

The last Labour government did many good things when in power and we saw huge decreases in numbers. But it’s not just about statistics, it’s what we see when walking around our local communities. I’ve volunteered at Crisis at Christmas for many years, some when there was a Labour government and some with the current coalition government.

In 2009 Crisis at Christmas was based at Deptford Reach and we had approximately 70 people accessing the services at Christmas, most of whom had some form of temporary accommodation. Last Christmas, there were over 300 people in need of help. The venue had to be changed to accommodate this overwhelming increase in demand.

Talking with people who are utilising these services, what many people tell me is they want a job but need training, they want a stable place they can call home, but they need support getting one, and they want to be part of a community, but feel they are left behind.

In London, we know we have a shortage of affordable homes, so we must build those homes and allow councils the powers to build more affordable housing. A future Labour government would give councils the ability to recycle money from housing benefit into building more social housing.

But so many people have to rely on the private rented sector, Labour will ensure that people have longer term tenancies, with three years being the norm rather than the exception and we will ban rip off agency fees, furthermore we will cap private sector rents, giving people long term security over what they have to pay each month.

 

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