St Mungo’s responds to the pledge to end rough sleeping within five years and related commitments set out in the Conservative Party manifesto:
- To end rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament by expanding successful pilots and programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First, and working to bring together local services to meet the health and housing needs of people sleeping on the streets.
- To renew the Affordable Homes Programme, in order to support the delivery of hundreds of thousands of affordable homes and prevent people from falling into homelessness.
- To bring in a Better Deal for Renters, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions.
Howard Sinclair, CEO of St Mungo’s, said:
“The Conservative Party has rightly given greater urgency to ending rough sleeping by bringing forward the 2027 target. A strong commitment and political leadership are important first steps, but it is disappointing the manifesto is lacking in the key areas needed to turn the commitment into a sustained reality.
“Programmes, such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First, will need to expand to ensure long-term support is available to help people find and keep a home, not just pick people up at the point crisis hits. People shouldn’t have to be exposed to the dangers of sleeping rough before they can get help. Crucially, if the Conservative Party is serious about ending rough sleeping for good the £1bn a year cut from homelessness services in the past decade needs to be restored.”
“It is good to see a commitment to more security for renters by abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions which can put people at real risk of repeated homelessness. However, a Conservative government will need to be much bolder on plans to deliver new social rented housing and ensuring housing benefit covers the cost of rent in order to end rough sleeping and wider homelessness.”
“An average of two people died every day while homeless last year. This is a national tragedy. The next Government must act urgently to prevent further deaths on our streets and ensure everyone has a home for good.”