Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

No place like home – in pictures

No Place Like Home is a photography and audio project by London-based photographer Jonathan Donovan.

Each story explores what it is like to live in London, and asks what constitutes a home in this febrile environment.

Exhibition from 16 – 22 September at Platform Southwark, London SE1 8BS

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

We had dealt with homelessness. Why has it now returned? | Lynsey Hanley

The failure by the Tories to tackle the severe housing shortage is part of an ideology to target the vulnerable

One night in 1967, Ronnie Hughes, then a 12-year-old boy who lived with his family on a new estate at the edge of Liverpool, was allowed to stay up late to watch Cathy Come Home, Ken Loach’s TV film about homelessness in modern Britain.

Watching it changed Ronnie’s life, as it did many others who were shocked into action. On leaving school, he became a housing officer and has worked to provide good housing for people who need it ever since. Now, through the social enterprise Coming Home, he brings empty homes in Liverpool back into use for secure tenancies at low rents.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Revealed: universal credit sends rent arrears soaring

Housing chiefs’ warning on effect of flagship Tory welfare reform

Ministers are coming under intense pressure to put the brakes on the government’s flagship welfare reform programme, following damning new evidence that it is leaving thousands of low-paid workers unable to pay their rent and at risk of homelessness.

The Observer can reveal a catalogue of concerns from landlords, councils and charities about universal credit, which have been handed to a parliamentary inquiry investigating the programme.

Related: Universal credit rollout should be delayed as it is ‘failing too many people’

Related: Universal credit has caused untold hardship. But the worst is yet to come | Frances Ryan

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Home sweet micro home: sleep-testing a pod for the homeless

The Guardian was invited into a Worcester back garden to try out a proposed solution to the problem of rough sleeping

The sort of adjectives estate agents use to describe the tiniest of homes – compact, snug, bijou – do not really cover it.

But young people who have endured homelessness are jostling to become the first occupant of a unique “micro home” inspired by the layouts of luxury yachts and airline first-class cabins.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The Guardian view on homelessness: do ministers care?

The rising tide of rough sleeping and families ending up in temporary accommodation should have alerted the government to the effects of its policies. It’s shocking that no one seemed curious about this hardship

The National Audit Office report into homelessness lays bare the legacy of human waste caused by the callous indifference and intellectual vacuity of Compassionate Conservatism, a Tory creed – promoted by David Cameron – where responsibility shifted from the state to individuals, families and communities.

Looking at the NAO’s assessment of the cack-handed way that the housing safety net was handled, this “philosophy” appears an empty political slogan designed to shield the Tory party from the charge it was balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. It’s no surprise that a mixture of high rents and welfare cuts put people out on the streets. Rough sleeping more than doubled since 2010. The numbers of households in temporary accommodation rose by 60%.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

This isn’t just homelessness: it’s by design, and we let it happen | Hugh Muir

The soaring number of people on the streets is the logical outcome of a toxic brand of Conservatism: shrink the state this far, and casualties are inevitable

Of the expectations we have of government, isn’t one of the most basic that it should protect the vulnerable? That is what strong and moral societies do. For nations that presume themselves Great, that should be prerequisite.

And it is with that in mind that one might assess this government’s record on homelessness. Not just homelessness resulting from bad luck or mental health problems, but homelessness visited upon fellow citizens as a direct result of government policy. It is naive to believe that ministers can fix everything, but they have a duty not to take a bad situation and make it worse.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Homelessness is not inevitable. It's a political choice | Melanie Onn

The UK government doesn’t appear to be interested in measuring or preventing homelessness. We need urgent change

  • Melanie Onn, MP for Great Grimsby, is a shadow housing minister

More and more people are starting to notice rising levels of homelessness, as they see rough sleepers on the streets of towns and cities across the country. The reality is that these visible signs of homelessness are just the tip of the iceberg. The new report from the independent National Audit Office (NAO) finds that there are now approximately 4,100 people sleeping rough each year, with 120,000 children living in temporary accommodation.

Related: Government rebuked for failing to address homelessness crisis

Related: Benefit freeze leaves families facing steep rent rise or eviction, Shelter warns

Britain is too rich and decent a nation to put up with seeing our neighbours, children and veterans go without a home

Related: ‘Young people can’t get the kind of help I did when I was homeless’ | Dawn Foster

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Ministers have lost their grip on rising homelessness, says damning report

National Audit Office criticises government for ‘light touch’ approach to issue that costs taxpayers more than £1bn a year

A sharp rise in homelessness over the past five years, fuelled by increasing private sector rents and cuts in housing benefit, is costing the public purse more than £1bn a year, according to a report by the government’s spending watchdog.

Homelessness has increased every year since 2010, with rises in rough sleeping and households living in temporary accommodation, but ministers have been slow to understand the problem or take a strategic approach to tackling it, the National Audit Office (NAO) says.

Related: Housing officers do all they can to refuse homeless applications | Derek Bernadi

Related: How I became homeless: three people’s stories

Related: Polly Neate: ‘Housing is the bedrock of everything’ | Dawn Foster

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness