Homelessness is a crisis in Britain today.
The number of rough sleepers has been increasing every year, despite a government target to half it by 2022 and end it by 2027
57,930 households accepted as statutory homeless in 2017
12,430 young people (16-24) accepted as statutory homeless in 2017.
Across the country, local governments are failing the most vulnerable in society.
Instead of meeting targets to build more social and affordable housing, and provide services such as emergency accommodation and mental health treatment to those who need it, many councils are enforcing the outdated 'Vagrancy Act' upon homeless people.
This law criminalises the homeless.
It allows councils to fine people for sleeping rough. Councils up and down the country, from Bournemouth to Manchester, to Oxford have been enforcing this outdated law.
But the crisis goes beyond those who are forced out onto the streets. 78,930 households were in temporary accommodation at the end of 2017 containing more than 121,000 children.
60,520 (77%) of these are dependent children and/or pregnant women.
22,150 (28%) have been housed outside their local area.
Homeless UK’s Chief Executive, believes the dysfunctional housing market and the impact of welfare reforms are the real issues behind these statistics.
What are we calling for?
The Young Liberals are calling for councils, MPs, organizations, and ministers to support Layla Moran's campaign to end the Vagrancy Act.
We are also calling for
- The Abolition of public space protection orders.
- To build more affordable and social housing, with emphasis on the Green Belt and Brownfield sites.
- To provide efficient public services, such as mental health treatment and emergency accommodation for the most vulnerable,
- The government to commit to their promise of reinstating housing benefits for 18-21 year olds.
What can I do?
We have a petition with all of our objectives on which can be found here. Once we have enough signatures we will send this to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
You can also send letters to local MPs, Councils, individual Ministers, and organisations, using the ready-made letter templates here.
We will soon be announcing campaign action days as well.
Young Liberals also have a competition going for our branches. The branch which can get the most people to sign the petition and the most letters sent out before [insert date here] will get a cash prize of £50 for their society to spend on whatever they like. This can be a social, a dinner, a day out etc. There will be two runner-up prizes of £25 each.
So let's get out there and make a difference!