Welcome to our Policy Centre, where we inform you about the latest research and campaigning we are getting involved in! Our Policy Team look at the latest issues to do with homelessness, poverty & society and suggest solutions to tackle the problem.
As an independent organisation, we remain impartial and able to challenge anyone and everyone - so where we think an organisation or national/regional policy decision can improve, we will suggest ideas, backed up by relevant evidence and experience.
HOMELESSNESS AND COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020 when the first national 'lockdown' was announced, the Government have worked to bring rough sleepers off the streets with a scheme called "Everyone In". This scheme forced Council's to house rough sleepers within 72 hours in temporary accommodation like hotels and Bed & Breakfasts.
In November 2020, the Government announced an extra £15million to Local Authorities to help relieve the pressure they face housing people during the pandemic. We welcome this move but urge the Government to do more.
We are calling on Secretary of State Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP and Minister for Rough Sleeping Eddie Hughes MP to take immediate action now:
OUR POLICY POSITION:
When the current eviction freeze finishes, there is going to be a mass of people either in vulnerable housing or forced out onto the streets. Local Authorities and housing associations need to refurbish empty, inhabitable properties to a high standard of living to help individuals and families move smoothly out of their current accommodation into new accommodation when the time comes.
An estimated 45,000 people will be offered temporary accommodation this year which may not be suitable, and at a cost of £225 billion to the taxpayer (Source: LSE London)
We urge the Government to mandate Council's to do this immediately because #HomelessnessIsComing.
HOMELESSNESS IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE
Homelessness is often seen just through the lens of housing, but many forget that other issues can cause people to lose their accommodation. Mental health, addiction, loss of employment and relationship breakdown can all contribute to someone being classed as homeless.
People sleeping on the streets (rough sleeping) is the most visible form of homelessness, but the least common. 'Hidden homelessness' is when individuals are not visible to everyone and often could be staying on someone's sofa or in a hotel. Too often, local and national Government just sees a housing issue and fails to acknowledge the benefit of joining up services and having an issue-approach to cases of homelessness.