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RESPONSE: "Government's complacent attitude has failed homeless" says new report

20.12.2017 2325 XX

Today the Public Accounts Committee will release a report on an enquiry into homelessness across the UK in which they say the government must do more to tackle the issue.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, who gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“This report confirms the fact that some government policies are causing homelessness while others are attempting to pick up the pieces. The good news is that with the right changes in policy, homelessness can be ended.

“Over Christmas and throughout winter, thousands of people across the country will be sleeping out in the cold, and thousands more will be trapped in unsuitable temporary accommodation, or sleeping in cars or on public transport, hidden from help. The mental and emotional impacts of this crisis cannot be understated: the average age of death of a homeless person is just 47 years old, and they are nine times more likely to commit suicide than the general public. This cannot go on.

“Last month we welcomed the government’s pledge to establish a Homelessness Reduction Taskforce. Now, the taskforce must quickly get to work and take forward the recommendations of this report, particularly to ensure that welfare reform tackles rather than causes homelessness, and also to join the government’s housing strategy with the need for truly affordable homes for homeless people. When we know that homelessness can be ended and prevented from happening in the first place, there’s no excuse not to act.”