Government accused of ‘covering tracks’ on homelessness

The Government has been accused of “covering its tracks” on homelessness after it announced a £20m cash pledge to support the national roll-out of the ‘No Second Night Out’ project.

The announcement comes just days after a letter leaked by Communities and Local Government (CLG) revealed that the Government’s plans to cap household welfare payments from 2013 risk making 40,000 families homeless.

Responding to housing minister Grant Shapps’ £20m cash pledge yesterday, Labour’s shadow housing minister, Alison Seabeck MP (pictured) said: “Just days after leaked government papers indicated that a further 40,000 families could lose their homes as a result of this government’s policies, yesterday’s announcement risks looking like an attempt to distract attention from a serious issue.  Indeed it could look like a Government trying to cover its tracks. 

“Of course additional support to those working in this area is welcome but after years of consistent falls in homelessness under Labour, the figures are rising again and rough sleepers are returning to Britain’s streets under this Tory-led government. Repossessions were up by 17% in the first quarter and many families are struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month.

“The figures all point to a government heading in the wrong direction on housing & homelessness. Labour will always back better advice and support which can keep people off the streets and get them back into a home, that’s why we tabled amendments to the Localism bill which would have done just that, amendments which the Tories & the Lib Dems voted against.”