A year ago, we launched LCEH to ask the Labour Party to include, in its next manifesto, a pledge to end homelessness – something it has never before done. This is not a pipe dream. Leading homelessness charities such as Crisis and Shelter believe that we can end homelessness too. Yet we believe also that only the Labour Party can deliver on this in government.
Under the last Labour government, homelessness fell substantially, but it was not eradicated. Moreover, homelessness under the Tories is soaring, with rough sleeping in London now more than twice what it was in 2010, according to DCLG statistics.
So far, we have been grateful for the support of many Labour politicians, including James Murray (Deputy Mayor of London for Housing), and our patrons, Teresa Pearce MP (Shadow Minister for Housing) and Tom Copley AM (Labour housing spokesman, GLA). However, we now want Labour to make formal its support for our aim of ending homelessness.
To make a Labour pledge to end homelessness real, we ask the Party to consider five key policies which will go towards eradicating homelessness. We also ask that the next Labour government enacts these policies in the order set out below:
- A government-led national structure involving all of the major organisations, including statutory and community sector organisations, dedicated to ending homelessness.
- Implement more efficient preventative measures and early intervention programs to stop homelessness becoming entrenched and end the cycle.
- Create a more effective registration system and information database of rough sleepers and hidden homeless to begin the process of rehousing.
- Enshrine the right to a home for everyone and begin the process of rehousing all of the UK’s homeless population, including those with complex needs.
- Launch a substantial and sustainable programme of public and social house building.
These are times of huge upheaval for our country and we believe Labour is best placed to unite the nation. Radical, socialist solutions are needed urgently to address homelessness and all of the ugly manifestations of grotesque inequality in this country.
In the words of Aneurin Bevan, spoken on the eve of the 1945 General Election: “We have been the dreamers. We have been the sufferers. Now we are the builders.”
Cllr Sam Stopp, Chair – The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness
Ryan Maynes, Head of Policy – The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness
Rebecca Wilson, National Outreach Coordinator – The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness
Philip Freeman, Campaigns Coordinator – The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness
Alex Angelakis, Communications Officer – The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness
The full list of signatories and instructions on how Labour members can add their name to the open letter can be found here.