John Denham, the Labour MP for Southampton’s city centre, has called for more action on homelessness in the run-up to Christmas.
At this time of year most people are naturally looking forward to spending some quality time with their families and over-indulging during the festive period.
But for a large and increasing number of people that is simply not the case.
Since the Tories came to power at the last general election their economic and housing policies have massively failed and they’ve led us into the biggest housing crisis in a generation.
The Tories have cut local authority budgets by 28% nationally, forcing local councils such as Southampton to slash their building plans and rough sleeping support programmes – the latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that rough sleeping in the South East has risen by almost 40%.
The Tories have an equally poor record on statutory homelessness, which is up by almost a third since they came to power in 2010.
John Denham is calling for a One Nation approach to the economy and housing, including a plan to fund a real increase in affordable housing and a jobs guarantee for young people. Then the government might be better placed to tackle the biggest housing crisis in a generation.
Mr Denham said:
“It’s a tragedy that this close to Christmas there are so many families will be without a permanent roof over their head and an increasing number of people will be sleeping out on our street.
“The Government can act to change this and it means they have to change their priorities. As a result of their failed economic and housing policies to date, house building is down, homelessness is up, we have a mortgage market where people can’t get mortgages and rents are unaffordable for too many in the private rented sector.
“Instead of cutting taxes for millionaires, I want to see changes brought in to reverse the long term damage to our economy that this Government’s policies are causing. Increasing homelessness is the most heart-breaking of consequences of this Government”