The Salvation Army responds to the Comprehensive Spending Review

published on 5 Sep 2019

Rough sleeper

A Salvation Army spokesperson said: “While we welcome the £54 million pledged to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, we are saddened to see more is not being done to help deliver the Government’s pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027.

“Addressing the causes of homelessness is key to ensuring people who are sleeping rough get the support they need.

“The number of households living in temporary accommodation has increased by 74%, and rough sleeping has increased by 165% since 2010 so the importance of tackling this issue head on is clear.

“We need action from Government to build new social housing, action to bring the value of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates back in line with the cost of private rents to ensure greater affordability, and additional investment in homelessness services, including in supported housing.

“Currently, private rental properties are unaffordable for too many on benefits and low incomes. The Spending Review was an opportunity for the Government to explain how they would look to tackle this issue. More homes for social rent need to be built, and this is a key instrument for the Government to bring down the disproportionately high costs of private renting.

“However, realistically, a new building programme will take some time to provide the number of homes needed.

“It is very disappointing that the Government has not taken more steps to ensure people on benefits and low incomes are able to afford at least three in every ten houses available for rent by increasing the value of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

“Homelessness services, including supported housing, provide an essential lifeline for people who are homeless through person-centred support. However, since 2008/09, yearly investment in homelessness services has fallen by £1bn.

“Since 2011, the number of bed spaces for people who are homeless provided by The Salvation Army in England has fallen by 24%.

“We are deeply concerned that the Government is still a long way off from delivering its pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027 and so is failing some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”