Corbyn Announces Labour Will Buy Every Homeless Person In UK A House
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has revealed a Labour government would ‘immediately’ buy 8,000 homes to help rough sleepers, as well as help councils ‘take over’ empty properties.
The pledge comes after Corbyn said the scale of homelessness within the UK was not only ‘disgusting’ but ‘wholly unnecessary’.
Outlining his party’s plans, he also revealed there’d be more council properties with lifetime tenancies at secure rent.
Speaking to the BBC about the issue, Mr Corbyn said:
We would give local authorities the power to take over deliberately kept empty properties, because there is something grossly insulting about the idea you would build some luxury block and deliberately keep it empty.
Surely we have to have a social objective and a social priority in our society?
The news comes after figures released last week show how rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh year in a row.
It was reported 4,751 people were counted or estimated to be bedding down outside in autumn 2017.
This is a 15 per cent rise on the previous year and more than double for the figure recorded five years ago.
Labour’s plans are to make 8,000 homes available for people ‘with a history of sleeping on the streets’ – the deals would be made via housing associations.
However, David Lidington, the Conservative Cabinet Office Minister stated there were ‘a number of different reasons’ as to why rough sleeping had increased.
He said mental health issues as well as drug and alcohol problems contributed, adding:
We have pledged to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027.
We have backed new legislation which is enabling us, with local authorities, to address the reasons why people become homeless and sleep rough, so that we prevent it, rather than try to deal with the problem when it occurs.
Following the announcement, Corbyn tweeted to say:
Labour would immediately buy 8,000 properties to combat homelessness.
Figures this week showed homelessness has risen for the seventh year running.
Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will not stand by as people sleep rough on our streets.
You can watch Corbyn speak about the issue in the clip below, from his appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:
Labour’s commitment to purchase 8,000 homes doubles their previous pledges.
At the 2017 general election, the Labour manifesto said:
You can’t help people who are homeless if you won’t provide the homes so we’ll transform our capacity to get people off the streets for good by making available 4,000 new homes for people with a history of rough sleeping.
How amazing would it be if this actually happened!