Liz Adams Champions Measures to End Rough Sleeping
The Liberal Democrats have committed to ending the scandal of rough sleeping in Britain, as the Homelessness Reduction Bill enters into force today.
The number of people sleeping rough rose to 4,134 in 2016, up 16% on the previous year. Homelessness has been an issue of local concern here in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the news comes after research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats revealed young people in Stratford will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefits.
Liz Adams, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Stratford-on-Avon said, “Here in Stratford, there is wide-spread concern over those in the town sleeping rough, with many local people desperate to help, but often complex factors make this difficult.
“It is right that the Liberal Democrats are making this a priority in our manifesto. Whilst I was fortunate enough to not end up on the streets, I was left unintentionally homeless after suffering domestic abuse, whilst I was a mother to a toddler. Not having a home is one of the most desperate situations you can find yourself in.
“Our local service providers are doing what they can but they need leadership and support from central government to really tackle this issue.”
The Liberal Democrats announced a series of measures the party would put in place to help end rough sleeping.
These include introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority, to put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters. Other policies include increasing funding for local councils for homelessness prevention, reinstating housing benefit for under-21s and reversing planned cuts to Local Housing Allowance rates.
The number of people sleeping rough rose to 4,134 in 2016, up 16% on the previous year. The Government has estimated that homelessness costs the state up to £1 billion a year.
The news comes as a coalition of charities, including Centrepoint, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter and St Mungo’s, have called on political parties to commit to end rough sleeping in Britain.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
“It is a national scandal that so many people are sleeping on the streets in 21st century Britain.
“By increasing support for homelessness prevention and properly funding emergency accommodation, we can end rough sleeping across the country.
“We will also ensure each local authority has at least one provider of Housing First services, to allow long-term homeless people to live independently in their own homes.
“The evidence suggests that supporting people and giving them long-term, stable places to stay is far more successful in tackling homelessness than constantly moving them to different temporary accommodation.
“Under this government, homelessness has soared and the stripping of young people of housing benefit threatens to make matters even worse.
“This election is a chance to change the direction of this country and stand up for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united."