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Homelessness could end in a decade, says charity Crisis

The UK could see an end to homelessness within 10 years if the government embraces certain policies, according to the homeless charity Crisis.

In a newly-published report, Crisis sets out a comprehensive plan to make homelessness “a thing of the past”.

It says 100,500 social homes need to be built each year for the next 15 years.

“We must not become a society that simply accepts homelessness as ‘a sad fact of life’… it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Crisis’s Jon Sparkes.

The charity estimates that there are currently 236,000 homeless people across England, Wales and Scotland, including those living in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

Their report, Everybody In: How To End Homelessness In Great Britain, follows work with the Chartered Institute of Housing, Heriot-Watt University, the National Housing Federation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The findings, endorsed by experts from around the world, include the following proposals:

  • 100,500 social homes to be built annually for the next 15 years to meet the needs of the homeless and those on low incomes
  • A national roll-out of Housing First, which aims to provide more than 18,000 homeless people with homes and a package of specialised support
  • Better rights for private renters and a reform to housing benefit, to protect people once they have been housed
  • Hospitals, prisons, the care system, and other parts of the state to be legally required to help find homes for those leaving their care
  • Job Centres to have homelessness specialists

“For the first time ever, we have a comprehensive plan that shows exactly how we can address the root causes of homelessness and make it a thing of the past,” said Mr Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis.

“Other parts of the world are taking huge strides towards ending it, and Britain can too.”

The call for funding for new homes is also being backed by the Local Government Association, which represents local authorities in England.

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