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Crisis welcomes political pledges to end rough sleeping

18.05.2017 1019 XX

Today, Crisis, the national charity for homeless peoplemarks significant progress as the three main political parties the Conservative Party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, pledged to end rough sleeping in their general election manifestos.  

Prime Minister Theresa May today pledges to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament, eliminating it altogether by 2027, through a homelessness reduction taskforce. May also vows to pilot a Housing First1 approach to tackle rough sleeping. 

Earlier this week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged to set out a national plan to end rough sleeping within the next five years, starting by making available 4,000 additional homes reserved for people with a history of rough sleeping.  

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron vowed to 'end the scandal of rough sleeping' by increasing support for homelessness prevention and funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing. He also pledged to  ensure all local authorities have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, entrenched homeless people.  

The news comes following calls from the coalition of charities on all political parties to pledge to stop the scandal of rough sleeping in the build-up to June’s election. Rough sleeping in England has risen by 16% in the last year and has more than doubled in the last five.  

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:   

“These manifesto pledges are hugely significant and show that ending rough sleeping is starting to become a real priority for politicians.   

"Having a stable place to call home is fundamental to the life chances of us all, and Housing First offers that opportunity to those who need it most. Wherever Housing First has been adopted at scale it has achieved successful results in tackling homelessness, with high tenancy sustainment rates and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.  The arguments for adopting this approach as national policy in the UK are now too compelling to ignore. 

“We have seen terrific support for ending homelessness across all political parties this year as the Homelessness Reduction Act passed into law. But further action can’t come soon enough.. At a time when the number of people sleeping on our streets continues to rise at an alarming rate, we are committed to working with the next government to push for an end to rough sleeping.”