Nobody should have to spend a night sleeping on the streets. However rough sleeping has been increasing since the 2008 recession and is one of the most visible signs of increasing poverty and inequality. Liberal Democrats will end rough sleeping within five years. To do this, we will:
- Urgently publish a cross-Whitehall plan to end all forms of homelessness.
- Exempt groups of homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness, from the Shared Accommodation Rate.
- Make providers of asylum support accommodation subject to a statutory duty to refer people leaving asylum support accommodation who are at risk of homelessness to the local housing authority.
- Introduce a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ legal duty to ensure that everyone who is at risk of sleeping rough is provided with emergency accommodation and an assessment of their needs.
- Ensure sufficient financial resources for local authorities to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act and provide accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse.
- Legislate for longer term tenancies and limits on annual rent increases.
- Scrap the Vagrancy Act, so that rough sleeping is no longer criminalised.