‘Direct link’ between welfare changes and rough sleeping rise

Labour responds to the mayor of London’s comments that there is a “direct link” between welfare changes and the rise in rough sleeping.


Labour’s London housing spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:  “The mayor’s comments resonate strongly with yesterday’s damning National Audit Office report.

“This government’s decision to cut social security and cap housing benefit has exacerbated homelessness in London, and pushed costs onto other budgets. Their decision to remove housing benefit from 18 to 21-year-olds is particularly pernicious, saves the taxpayer no money, and disproportionately hits young LGBT people.

“The biggest cause of homelessness is now the end of a private tenancy. The government’s refusal to consider measures to offer security to private tenants through longer tenancies and regulated rent increases is fuelling homelessness in the capital. We saw this with year on year increases in rough sleeping in London between 2009 and 2016.

“The mayor has pledged £9m a year and a whole package of measures to tackle rough sleeping. I am utterly appalled that the government haven’t been willing to take the determined action needed to reverse this deplorable rise in homelessness.

“I call on them to urgently reconsider their light touch approach and start capping rent rises not benefits.”

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