In this EDP 24 article, I respond to the news that the government has launched a new homelessness strategy.
Any money to tackle rough sleeping is welcome, but in reality £100m is a drop in the ocean (plus it’s not yet clear what cut of this will be awarded to Norfolk). Nobody should be fooled by it. It’s also questionable just how much of this is new.
What I want to see is a U-turn on austerity. We need a radical rethink of how our economy works and who it works for. Norfolk will have made almost a billion pounds worth of cuts by next year. It’s a breakdown in the social fabric of a number of public services.
Pressure on the NHS, less money for mental health services, the failings of a privatised probation service and a lack of housing had all contributed to the rise in homelessness.
I am seeing more people at my surgery who are coming to me, on the brink of being homeless. People saying that they never thought they’d be in that position. It’s vital that we build more affordable housing. Councils want to do it, so why not let them borrow against their existing housing stock and do it.