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2 September, 2022
News Story

Letter to prime ministerial candidates

Your Place is playing an active part in a large alliance of charities appealing to our future prime ministerial candidates to take homelessness seriously and to make three important commitments to reducing rough sleeping and homelessness.

The open letter calls on the victorious leadership candidate to pledge to continue to strive to meet the Conservative manifesto commitment of ending rough sleeping in England by 2024 and to publish a strategy by the end of 2022 to outline how they plan to achieve this.

Additionally, it calls on Truss or Sunak to ensure the full list of reforms outlined in the recent White Paper; ‘A fairer private rented sector’ is brought forward as legislation when parliament returns in September, including fulfilling the manifesto pledge of ending ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions.

The letter was coordinated and sent by the charity Homeless Link on Tuesday 23rd August and was signed by 28 organisations from across the housing and homelessness sector, including Crisis, Shelter and St Mungo’s. The letter is sent at a time when inflation in the UK has risen to 10.1%, a forty year high. At the same time private sector rents are at record levels and are predicted to rise further and many homelessness services are reporting an increase in people needing their services.

According to a report by Shelter 1 in 22 people in Newham are currently experiencing homelessness.

Amanda Dubarry from Caritas Anchor House said:

“We are grateful for Homeless Link for coordinating this open letter to our future Prime Ministerial candidates. We are deeply concerned by the cost-of-living crisis, which is unfortunately hitting Newham the hardest, 14% of Newham residents are currently unemployed, and right now we have 1 in 22 people in the borough experiencing homelessness. Whoever our future Prime Minister is next month, we desperately urge them to stick to their 2019 manifesto commitment to end homelessness by 2024 otherwise we will see that 1 in 22 statistics get even worse.”

Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link, the national membership charity for frontline homelessness organisations who coordinated the letter, said: 

“Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were elected on a Conservative party commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024, and yet, despite government figures showing homelessness increased by 11% in the first 3 months of this year, both leadership candidates have barely mentioned homelessness throughout their campaigns.

“It’s vital that when parliament returns next month, our new Prime Minister acts decisively to prevent a wave of homelessness. We hope that this letter, and the weight of concern it demonstrates from across the homelessness sector, will put the issue of homelessness back on their agenda, accelerating much needed reform of the private rented sector and setting out a clear plan to meet the target of ending rough sleeping by 2024.”

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