In Depth

Five ways to end homelessness for good

Charity says £10bn government investment could solve the problem

Homelessness could be eradicated within ten years by following a £10bn government policy plan, according to the charity Crisis.

Backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the newly published set of recommendations is designed to “end homelessness for good” and includes measures such as building at least 100,000 social homes each year for the next 15 years.

Around 236,000 people are believed to be homeless in England, Scotland and Wales, with three people dying every week on the streets, on average, reports The Independent.

Dame Louise Casey, a former government adviser on rough sleeping, has endorsed the Crisis report, entitled Everybody In: How to End Homelessness in Great Britain.

In an article for The Times, Casey warns: “If we carry on as we are, levels of homelessness will almost double in the next 25 years. This should be to our national shame.

“History shows us that with the political will and the right policies in place, this situation is not inevitable.”

Here are five key recommendations from the report:

  • Build 100,500 new social homes each year for the next 15 years, to meet the needs of rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness.
  • Improve housing benefit so that it “truly covers the cost of housing and reflects projected rent rises”.
  • Increase access to help and fund personalised and proactive support for rough sleepers, with the focus on finding people permanent accommodation.
  • Make it a duty for all relevant public bodies to prevent homelessness.
  • Increase funding for Critical Time Intervention, an approach that ensures people leaving prison or going through transitions with a homelessness risk are rapidly rehoused.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: ”We are investing more than £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness and just last week we announced £30m for councils to help boost the immediate support available to people living on the streets.

“We are also investing £9bn to build more affordable homes and are piloting the Housing First approach in three major regions.”

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