Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/922/23842
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016
Homeless told to sleep rough: councils must build housing
Councils have told homeless people to sleep rough in order to get help (Click to enlarge)
Jack Jeffery, homelessness support worker
Homeless charity St Mungo's has released a report detailing that many of its clients had been advised by councils to sleep rough before they could access services.
This will ring true with anyone who works in housing. A combination of rising rents, diminishing social housing, and vindictive cuts to benefits are pushing more and more people into homelessness.
I work for a homeless charity in London that runs a small shelter for around 30 people. The conditions aren't glamorous; the shelter consists of four large rooms turned into bedrooms in the evening by bringing out camp beds.
Despite this, most mornings there are two to three people sleeping on the step outside. Unfortunately, now it's October, the shelter is already full. The best we can offer them is a place on our growing waiting list as all the other shelters are full.
Right-wing politicians and newspapers often paint homeless people as irresponsible and unable to manage a normal life. However, a look at the government's own statistics shows the most common cause of homelessness is the end of a shorthold tenancy. Hardly surprising in a country where rents soar while wages stagnate.
The new Homelessness Reduction Bill, a private member's bill introduced by a Tory backbencher, is due for its second reading on 28 October.
This might improve the standard of advice given by councils. But ultimately it will do little to help, because a clause guaranteeing all non-priority homeless applicants 56 days of emergency accommodation was deemed 'not feasible' by parliament's local government and communities committee. It is likely to be removed.
What would end homelessness? Secure social housing, jobs, a living wage and living benefits for all - which will only be won through struggle. It will be never granted by a government which cares more about ensuring Britain is 'open for business' than looking after the people business exploits for profit.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 26 October 2016:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Protest and strike to save our NHS
Health campaigners announce national NHS demo
Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital
Socialist Party news and analysis
'Jungle' camp destruction is no solution
Welsh budget: Labour government makes Tory cuts
Academies mired in debt and corruption
Homeless sleeping rough: councils must build housing
Four in five self-employed workers living in poverty
Corbyn & Labour
Readmit expelled socialists
Wallasey whitewash must be condemned
Battle in Leeds council over care home closure
Jarrow March for Jobs 2011
Jarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth
Socialist Party workplace news
Teaching assistant pledges ongoing fight against pay cuts
A day in the life of a midwife
Striking Sheffield bin workers picket scabs
Crossrail sparks get organised
Unison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Housing campaigners meet to plan resistance to the Housing Act
Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I really can't wait for Socialism 2016"
"We are all Daniel Blake!"
International socialist news and analysis
US presidential election: The disastrous failure of 'lesser evilism'
Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Book review: Fighting racism in football
TV: No Place to Call Home
The Socialist 26 October 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook