MPs agree: government is failing homeless people

20 December 2017

Homelessness crisis

We’ve been saying it for years, but MPs are now beginning to admit that the government is failing to tackle the UK’s homeless crisis.

The government’s attitude to reducing the problem is “unacceptably complacent”, according to a new report by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

It also says the government’s pledge to end rough sleeping in a decade’s time will address only the “tip of the iceberg” and that there’s an unacceptable shortage of realistic housing options for homeless people and those at risk of becoming so.

Our chief executive, Mike Barrett, says: “The government has to do something. For several years, organisations like Porchlight have been warning that this crisis is coming and rough sleeping in Kent has now reached an all-time high.

“The Homeless Reduction Act comes into force next year and it puts expensive new duties on local authorities to prevent and relieve homelessness. It should be a positive step but our concern is that they will not be able to carry it out because of the extreme financial pressures they're already facing as a result of government austerity.

“What worries us is that homelessness will carry on into the next generation because the government isn’t doing anything to realistically provide affordable housing.  If we don’t sort this out, people will end up dying on the streets. It’s heart breaking.

“On top of that, MPs have to understand that by not taking action against the homelessness crisis now, they are stacking up huge costs for tackling it in the future.”