Open letter to MPs: save supported housing
29 September 2017
We've written to MPs, asking them to protect funding for homeless hostels and other types of supported housing.
It's important they attend an upcoming Westminster debate on the subject. Without funding for supported housing, our vulnerable residents would end up sleeping on the streets. We previously addressed the issue here.
Porchlight's open letter to MPs
Dear sir / madam,
Porchlight’s supported housing projects are a place to call home for hundreds of adults and young people in Kent. They offer a safe environment where people can start to recover from the chaos and stress of homelessness and take steps to rebuild their lives.
But the government’s proposal to cap housing benefit at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) level puts our hostels and shared houses at serious risk of closure.
If supported housing projects are forced to close, we’ll see hundreds more people on the streets. Numbers in Kent are already at an all time high – between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, our team found 707 people, compared to 509 the previous year. That’s a rise of 38%.
We’ve joined with colleagues in the sector to highlight the value of supported housing, not just for those who have been unlucky enough to fall into homelessness, but to society as a whole. Without it, pressure will build on public services and regeneration projects will derail as more communities are blighted by the lack of help for vulnerable people.
We ask you to support us – and some of the most excluded and marginalised people in your constituency – by attending a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday 10 October at 4pm.
We need to show the government that by removing the threat of the LHA cap and committing to ensuring that supported housing is fully funded and sustainable, it can still avoid the potentially catastrophic impact on current and future residents.
A briefing is included but if you would like to gain a greater understanding of the housing sector here in Kent, we would be more than happy to help. Please do contact me.
Mike Barrett, chief executive officer
There is an opportunity for you to add your voice by writing to your MP. Here is a suggested letter:
I am getting in touch as a concerned supporter of Porchlight.
I understand that the government is to debate the future of funding for supported housing. Without continued funding, the people living in Porchlight's hostels and shared housing are at risk of once more becoming homeless.
I would be grateful if you could attend the debate on 10 October and show the government that ensuring supported housing funding is vital for so many people.
To contact your MP by email, go to www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ and put in your postcode. It will then tell you who your MP is and give you their email address. If you would prefer to write then address it to them by name at: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA