“Next government must follow through on promises to end homelessness”

They must take immediate action

The upcoming election has at least brought an agreement among political parties that homelessness – in particular rough sleeping – must be eradicated.

Our next government must follow through on this. As John F Kennedy once said, “a country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.”

We live in an affluent country… one that’s currently failing people who are homeless, living in poverty, in unsafe relationships and in struggling communities.

Porchlight’s message to our incoming government is:

  • Use a coordinated approach: protect supported housing (like our homeless hostels), invest in alcohol, drug and mental health services and programmes for those leaving care, prison and the armed forces
  • Invest in a welfare system that protects people from homelessness and helps them to work
  • Address the housing crisis by providing more social rented homes
  • Amend legislation that discriminates against homeless people who are not deemed vulnerable enough to be a priority for housing
  • Make it a statutory obligation to house all women, regardless of whether or not they are seen as a priority for housing, to prevent the cycle of violence and abuse they face.

More support is needed

We’re calling for more support for the poorest and most vulnerable people in our communities. Support that allows them to live safely, with dignity and respect and provides them with stable housing and the opportunity to work.

It is not too much to ask of a civilised society - we should be protecting individuals and their families from poverty and the threat of homelessness and giving them hope of a positive future.

This blog was written by Mike Barrett, Porchlight's chief executive