Learn the lessons of Welsh Labour in tackling homelessness, leading charity says

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Tough measures taken by the Welsh Government to force councils to tackle homelessness should be rolled out across the UK, a leading charity says today.

Crisis said changes made by Welsh Labour in 2014 should adopted by the Tories in Westminster. The report picks out two key areas: a stronger duty for councils to prevent homelessness, for example by providing advice, help with rent and mediation with landlords, and then to relieve rough sleeping when it does occur. 

It also includes the duty Welsh councils have to to prevent people from becoming homelessness two months before they lose their home.

Last year one in six homeless households households who applied for help from their council were found to be homeless yet were not judged to meet the criteria to be re-housed.

Since 2010 the number of rough sleepers has doubled, with those whose cases are extreme enough to fall within the criteria of receiving government help rising by a third.

John Healey, shadow Secretary for Housing and Planning, said the report was an opportunity for the Government to re-think its actions since 2010:

“This spiralling scale of homelessness should shame us all. It is a test of our basic humanity and the clearest possible message to this government that they must now make different decisions to those they have made over the last six years.

“Ministers’ failure to control housing costs and crude cuts to housing support are making the problem much worse. So the government must now re-think the multi-billion pound cuts to housing and homelessness support which are set to bite during this Parliament.

“As this important report shows, the legal protections for homeless people in England are not good enough. Ministers must also act now to strengthen the law to help prevent homelessness as Labour has done in Wales.

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