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Homelessness ‘crisis’

Unite’s Joyce Still speaks out on rising levels of homelessness
Hajera Blagg, Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

The UK is in the midst of a homelessness crisis, the Labour Party Conference heard on Wednesday (September 25).


Speaking in support of a composite, Unite delegate Joyce Still highlighted the fact that the numbers of homeless people and rough sleepers are now at their highest levels since 2010.


“And I know that it is a serious and increasing problem in Stafford, where I am the prospective parliamentary candidate,” she said. “The UK is the sixth biggest economy on the planet. It ought to be capable of putting a roof over the head of every citizen. But the fact that it does not is the direct consequence of failed Conservative austerity policies.”


Still told conference how last January, Unite opened its Holborn offices in response to London mayor’s ‘Severe Weather Emergency Provision’ programme giving shelter to a number of homeless people during one of the coldest winter snaps.


She expressed her pride in Unite but said that “dealing with homelessness requires a radical nationwide approach.


“We welcome Labour’s commitment to set out a new national plan to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament,” she added.


“And we welcome its plans to tackle the root causes of homelessness, including safeguarding homeless hostels and other supported housing and the reversal of crude Conservative cuts to housing benefit.”


Still affirmed that homelessness “needs addressing now”.


“It needs serious investment in social and genuinely affordable housing and a return to the building of council houses,” she said. “It needs additional help for rough sleepers, especially in cold weather. And it needs a Labour Government.”


The composite was carried.


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