Crisis at the Conservative Party Conference
Crisis raised housing and homelessness issues at this week's Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
Representatives from Crisis attended the conference as part of Homes for Britain, a housing and homelessness organisations initiative aiming to put housing on centre stage at all three main party conferences this autumn.
On Monday night, Homes for Britain hosted its flagship event at the Conservative Party Conference. Speakers including CBI Director General John Cridland told the Party that housing is vital for driving economic growth and building strong communities.
Also speaking at the event was new housing minister Mark Prisk, who stressed that increasing housing supply would indeed be his top priority.
Elsewhere at the conference, Crisis and St Mungo’s hosted a lively roundtable discussion with key MPs and councillors to examine what the Conservatives could do to tackle homelessness. The event was chaired by Crisis head of policy Katharine Sacks-Jones, who highlighted the strong historical links Crisis has with the Conservative party and praised the Government for taking homelessness seriously.
However, Sacks-Jones expressed grave concern about the rising numbers of people becoming homeless and called on the Conservatives for immediate action. She said that homelessness services alone are not enough and urged for a halt on cuts to housing benefit and for private rented sector reform.
Sacks-Jones also spoke at an event ‘Balancing act: reforming welfare while addressing Britain’s housing crisis’ hosted by the New Statesman magazine and Moat housing association, where she highlighted the devastating effects slashing housing benefits will have.
She said the Government needs to be ready to rethink its direction if homelessness continues to rise. “You can’t keep targeting the most vulnerable without seeing the social consequences . . . what is vital is that, as the picture develops, ministers listen, learn and change course if necessary.”