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End Homelessness Now: our vision for the next UK government

Rosie Downes, Campaigns Manager

“Every day I work with people who are vulnerable, homeless or precariously housed. I know how hard life can be for them. It’s crucial now that our government acts to ensure that there is fair and decent housing for all who need it and tackle the root causes of homelessness.” Fabiana De Lazzer, Crisis tutor

At Crisis, we know homelessness isn’t inevitable. It can be ended – but we need the political will to make it happen. The choices made by politicians can both cause and resolve homelessness. That’s why the upcoming General Election is a huge opportunity for us. It’s a chance for the next UK Government to set out an ambitious vision that ends homelessness once and for all.

In England, we’ve come together with our friends at Centrepoint, Depaul, Homeless Link, Shelter and St Mungo’s to set out our vision for the next UK Government. Together, we’ve developed the End Homelessness Now campaign – calling on all political parties to commit to publishing a plan in their first year of government to end homelessness. And to end all forms of homelessness for good, this plan will need to include:

  • Improving access to truly affordable housing in England, by building at least 90,000 social homes a year over the next five years, and improving security for tenants in the private rented sector
  • Strengthening support through the welfare system across England, Scotland and Wales, through housing benefit that covers the cost of rent and fixing Universal Credit so that it doesn’t push people into homelessness 
  • Providing long-term, guaranteed funding for services in England which prevent homelessness and quickly get people off the street and into a stable home.

You can find out more about our calls for the UK Government here. The Welsh and Scottish governments have responsibility for most aspects of homelessness policy, so our calls in Wales and Scotland look a bit different. 

Find out more about the campaign in Wales

Find out more about the campaign in Scotland

 

"Homelessness doesn’t have to happen. It’s caused by policies such as housing and welfare, or not funding services to support people at risk of homelessness. With political will, it can be ended. This General Election our leaders should commit to end it once and for all." Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis

But it’s not just down to the politicians. On 12th December, voters across the UK will decide who makes up the next UK Government. And the politicians will be listening to what they have to say. So now is a crucial time for us to make sure the candidates hear our concerns, and understand what needs to happen to end homelessness once and for all.

That’s why we’ve put together a number of ways you can get involved and make sure your candidates are thinking about the issues that matter to you.

1. Make sure you’re registered to vote – and encourage others to do so too.

Voting is your chance to make your voice heard about important issues. If you’re a British or Irish citizen, an EU citizen, or a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK; and you’re aged 18 or over, you can vote in a General Election, even if you are homeless or don’t have a fixed address – but you must be registered to vote. The deadline for registering is Tuesday 26th November. Find out more about registering to vote.

2. Make some noise on social media

If you use Twitter, it’s a great platform to ask the people who want your vote what they’ll do to end homelessness. We’ve put together a handy tool so you can tweet the party leaders about ending homelessness. If you want to tweet at your local candidates, you can see who they are and if they’re on Twitter here.

3. Ask questions on the doorstep

Parliamentary hopefuls are hitting pavements across the country and they want to hear from you. Make your voice heard: start asking questions about housing and homelessness. When a local candidate or campaigner shows up on your doorstep, ask questions. We’ve put together a handy downloadable door hanger so you’ll be ready with questions if a candidate knocks on your door.

4. Go to, or organise, a hustings

During the period leading up to a general election, a hustings is a public meeting where candidates standing to become an MP answer questions from the audience. It’s an opportunity for you to raise your concerns, hear the responses of candidates from different political parties and find out what they would do if elected. Look out on local social media for local hustings being organised, and go along and ask a question about homelessness. Can’t find any hustings in your area? Why not organise your own?

“Having access to a safe place to live is a human right, but I’ve known one person who died on the streets. We need to stand up and say it doesn’t need to be this way. We can end homelessness, and if we had the political will, we could do it.” Tom, Crisis member

If you’d like to do more, or if you hear back from your candidates, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch: campaigns@crisis.org.uk.

In Wales?

The Welsh Government has responsibility for most aspects of homelessness policy in Wales, so our calls in Wales look a bit different. But you can still get involved:

In Scotland?

The Scottish Government has responsibility for most aspects of homelessness policy in Scotland, so our calls in Scotland look a bit different. But you can still get involved:

 

 

For media enquiries:

E: media@crisis.org.uk
T: 020 7426 3880

For general enquiries:

E: enquiries@crisis.org.uk
T: 0300 636 1967