Lib Dems publish plan to end rough sleeping


Today the Liberal Democrats will set out a bold plan to end rough sleeping within five years, spanning social housing, welfare, local authority funding and legal changes

Shadow Housing Secretary Tim Farron declared that “nobody should have to spend a night sleeping on the streets” and announced a package of measures to prevent rough sleeping, including:

  • Scrapping the Vagrancy Act
  • Introducing a “somewhere safe to stay” duty on local authorities to provide immediate emergency accommodation
  • Abolishing Section 21 “no fault” evictions
  • Increasing Local Housing Allowance payments
  • Providing accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse
  • Extending the “move on” period for refugees from 28 days to 56
The latest government figures show that, under the Conservatives, the number of rough sleepers in England on a single night has risen by 31% since 2015, to 4,677. In 2018, 1,320 people were prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act, according to the homelessness charity Crisis.

Announcing the plan, Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said:


“Nobody should have to spend a night sleeping on the streets. It is the most shameful example of the failure of this Conservative Government to provide a safety net for those who need it.
 
“The Conservatives are sitting on their hands, failing to protect the most vulnerable people in society. They haven’t built enough social housing, their benefit cuts have made poverty worse, and they blocked Liberal Democrat efforts to repeal the cruel, Dickensian law that criminalises people just for sleeping rough.
 
“The plan we’re setting out today will build a brighter future by ending rough sleeping within five years. We will make sure that everyone has a decent home so they can live with dignity.
 
“The other parties pay lip service to this goal, but only the Liberal Democrats have the clear and credible policies to actually achieve it.”

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