Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin calls for extra help to tackle rough sleeping

Dudley North MP Ian Austin is supporting the ‘Everybody In’ campaign to end rough sleeping in the Black Country and across the UK, but says more should be done by the Tory government and West Midlands Mayor to tackle the issue.

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The Everybody In campaign by Crisis is aiming to end homelessness by ensuring that:

  1. No one is left sleeping rough
    2. No one is forced to live in transient or dangerous accommodation such as tents squats and non-residential buildings
    3. No one is living in emergency accommodation such as shelters and hostels without a plan for rapid rehousing into affordable, secure and decent accommodation
    4. No one homeless as a result of leaving a state institution such as the care system
    5. Everyone at immediate risk of homelessness gets the help they need that prevents it happening

They key to achieving this is providing sufficient housing numbers, including building more social and affordable housing, so that everyone has a place to live. It also calls for the government to give local councils sufficient funding to provide debt advice, mental health support and other preventative measures to help people stay in their homes.

Previously Austin accused the government of complacency over homelessness as the number of people sleeping rough in the region soared and wants to see the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to tackle the problem much more urgently.

Ian Austin said:

 “I was Labour’s last Minister for homelessness when the Labour government made huge strides tackling rough sleeping, thanks to the brilliant work by charities, housing associations and local authorities.

  “But clearly homelessness has shot up in recent years and is not only a problem in Dudley but across the region. The number of people sleeping rough in the West Midlands has more than trebled, so obviously more needs to be done to support those who have nowhere to live.

“I am supporting the Everybody In campaign, but I also think the government and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street should be doing much more to tackle the problem.

“Mr Street’s target for abolishing rough sleeping is not for nearly ten years, exactly the same as the government’s, but what is the point of having a Mayor if we are not going to have new ideas and get the public sector working together to tackle problems in the region?

“We need to make sure that action is taken now so that homeless people are not faced with another winter on the streets in 5 months-time”.

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