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Ending homelessness in Scotland- Crisis' manifesto for the General Election

Camille Furtado, Senior Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer - Scotland

In our society, we should all have a safe place to call home. However, almost 30,000 households across Scotland and more than 170,000 across Britain are experiencing or at immediate risk of homeless. People are stuck in dangerous or emergency accommodation, sleeping on floors or friends’ sofas, or even on the street.

That’s why we’re calling on the next UK Government to make sure that everybody in our society has a safe and stable home.

Many decisions about housing and homelessness in Scotland are made by the Scottish Parliament but some issues, such as welfare and migrant homelessness, are made by the UK Parliament and Government.

In this General Election, people across Great Britain will elect MPs to represent them in Westminster. MPs make decisions that affect England and also the UK as a whole. Two issues that the UK Government has responsibility for include the welfare support system and the support available for non-UK nationals at risk of homelessness. That’s why we’re calling on politicians to invest in housing benefit to prevent homelessness, and to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Making housing benefit cover the cost of renting
We know that the constant pressures of low wages and high rents are pushing people towards homelessness, restricting the options available to them.

Our research found that consecutive cuts to housing benefit means that in 94% of areas in Britain, one in five or less private rented homes are affordable for people who need housing benefit. People are locked in a struggle to pay their rent and cover the basics like food and bills – in the worst cases, this is causing homelessness. And when homelessness does occur, people can’t find another home due to the gap between benefit payments and the cost of housing.

That’s why we’re calling on the next UK Government to invest in Local Housing Allowance. We know that if the UK Government invested in housing benefit so that it covered just the cheapest third of private rents (1 in 3 of all private rents), it could prevent so many people from becoming homeless.

Migrant homelessness
The solutions to homelessness for people with migrant status are essentially the same as for all other people. However, we know that people with migrant status currently face a complex set of rules that create many ways in which people can be pushed into homelessness. These rules must be changed so that everyone can be housed.

Our manifesto for Scotland
We’ve set out a range of actions the next UK Government could take to help prevent and end homelessness across Scotland in our Manifesto for Ending Homelessness in Scotland.

Take action today

1) Read our manifesto for Scotland

We’ve set out a range of actions the next UK Government could take to help prevent and end homelessness across Scotland in our Manifesto for Ending Homelessness in Scotland. Read the manifesto here.

2) Register to vote

Make sure you’re registered to vote and encourage others to do so too before the deadline on 26 November. If you’re homeless or have no fixed address it’s still possible to register. Visit our website for more details

3) Share the message on social media

With just four weeks until the General Election, we all need to send a clear message that homelessness has no place in 21st century Britain. Now is the time for our future politicians to commit to doing all they can to end homelessness across Scotland, Wales and England.

We’ve put together a simple message for you to share urging politicians to take action:

When some of us struggle, it affects our whole society. And right now, people needing support are being forced into homelessness. All #GE19 candidates should back @CrisisScotland ’s call for housing benefit to #CovertheCost of rent to #EndHomelessness in Scotland

4) Follow our updates

Read the latest campaign updates and news on our website and follow @CrisisScotland on Twitter

 

For media enquiries:

E: media@crisis.org.uk
T: 020 7426 3880

For general enquiries:

E: enquiries@crisis.org.uk
T: 0300 636 1967