Monday 29 October 2018

The Chancellor of the Exchequer today presented his 2018 Budget.

Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s CEO, said: “We are disappointed to not see more concrete funding commitments for tackling the scandal of rough sleeping.

“Rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010. It is harmful, dangerous and recent stats show a distressing rise in the number of people dying on the streets. Despite positive news earlier in the year with a new rough sleeping strategy, this budget was a missed opportunity to deliver on the government’s commitment to end rough sleeping by 2027.

“We need to see further commitments to increase social housing, strengthen private renting and funding for homelessness services for people to find, and keep, a home for good.”

On Mental Health spending, Sinclair added:

“There is a mental health crisis on our streets so today’s announcement for a new mental health crisis service is welcome.

“Almost half of people who sleep rough are tackling mental health problems. We know that mental health deteriorates significantly the longer people spend time on the streets, and when people are in crisis, support is rarely there.

“We want this service to work with people on the streets who have mental health problems and be designed with the most vulnerable in mind.”

On Universal Credit, Sinclair added:

“We are pleased to see £1 billion over the next five years to address the serious issues that are plaguing the roll out of Universal Credit.

“Our clients tell us they are being let down. Many are struggling with the complexity of the new system and delayed payments are preventing people from moving on from homelessness and into a place of their own.

“We hope the new funding will address these key problems. However in order to stop vulnerable claimants being pushed further into destitution, we want to see a pause in the roll out until all key stakeholders are sure that any flaws have been rectified.”

ENDS

Notes

Our Home for Good campaign report explains the difficulties people face when leaving the streets behind and what the Government must do to end rough sleeping for good.

Government action can stop people returning to the streets permanently by:

– building more social homes and making them available to people who have slept rough;
– improving private renting; and
– guaranteeing long-term funding for homelessness services.

Sign our open letter here