Kate Osamor MP has secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons main chamber on ‘Homelessness in Edmonton.’ The debate is scheduled to take place at 5pm on Thursday 14 April 2016.
Homelessness is a growing problem in Enfield and across London. Rough sleeping in London has risen dramatically since 2010, with figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) indicating there has been an increase from 415 to 940 people sleeping rough across London on any one night. In the first half of 2015/16, figures show that Enfield had the third highest number of new homeless acceptances in the capital with 533 cases.
Kate has worked with Enfield Council on this debate to assess the scale of the problem in Edmonton, and to call for positive steps from government to assist local authorities in dealing with significant levels of homelessness.
In the debate, Kate calls on the government to urgently review the level of Local Housing Allowance, reverse the intended further lowering of the benefit cap, and review the allocation of the Homelessness Grant in order to bring equity to the system.
Kate also stands in support of St Mungo’s Broadway’s ‘Stop the Scandal’ campaign, and calls on the government to improve homelessness legislation to prevent more rough sleeping with a new, universal prevention and relief duty, so that anyone threatened with homelessness can get help.
Kate ends by stating that a sustainable housing policy must be put forward, and genuinely affordable homes must be built. At the moment, the average London renter spends almost 60% of their income on their rent – including benefits, minus taxation. This is double the amount that it typically considered to be affordable. City Hall’s assessment is that London needs to build 50,000-60,000 homes a year to keep up with the increasing need, yet only 20,000 homes were built last year.
Speaking on the subject, Kate says:
“I am really glad to have secured a debate on this topic. Edmonton has seen rising levels of rough sleeping and hidden homelessness in recent years. My constituency office has opened more cases pertaining to housing in the last month than any other single issue.
The government is not doing enough to tackle this crisis. The issues we are facing in Edmonton are symptomatic of wider housing problems across the country, and the government’s failed record in this area.”