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A Home for Everyone: How we have been influencing the next government

Fiona Colley, Homeless Link's Director of Social Change reflects on the work that has been done ahead of the General Election.

With polling day just a couple of days away, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for supporting our ‘A Home for Everyone’ campaign and share the impact we have made together.

Our Manifesto to End Homelessness Together

Our election journey started nearly a year ago, when over 50 members from across the country joined one of our policy development workshops to help inform the asks we wanted to make of the next Government. Based on the priorities you shared with us we produced our Manifesto to End Homelessness together, setting out our four key ambitions, and packed with the ideas and solutions we need.

We’re very proud of the manifesto we produced and the role that you all have played in helping us shape the content – I know the sector is at its strongest when we come together and I hope that you feel that this agenda represents you, and that you have been able to get behind it.

Mass Lobby of Parliament

The world of politics moves fast. It’s hard to believe that our and Riverside Housing’s Parliamentary Lobby was only three months ago. This was our first time running a lobby and I think it’s fair to say it was a huge success. Together we engaged over 70 MPs across the day, with Q&As with the spokespeople from the three main parties, making the case for long-term change to bring about a home for everyone.

Room for hope from party manifestos

I was very pleased to see both Labour and the Liberal Democrats commit to a cross-government approach to homelessness, a key ask in our manifesto, and am confident this was in large part down to our collective lobbying. The Labour manifesto also contains several policies we have been calling for that will help in turning off the homelessness tap such as a major social housing building program and ending ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions. Meanwhile, rumours are they’re seriously considering implementing a National Housing First Program.

Engaging candidates across the country

Rishi Sunak calling a summer election certainly caught us by surprise. But we set an ambitious target anyway for us and our members to engage at least 100 candidates standing for election by polling day. I’m delighted to say we have blown that out the water. Thanks to many of you, over 300 candidates have signed our election pledge, while we have seen organisations meeting candidates and running hustings right across the country, pushing us close to the 400 mark overall.

These relationships will be vital to continue pushing for change with the new government. Meanwhile, we have kept the pressure on party leaders with over 50 organisations signing our letter focused on our manifesto, and over 100 organisations signing our joint letter with NACCOM focusing on the need to reform the asylum and immigration system.

The work doesn’t stop

While we have achieved a lot together so far, it is critical we keep up the pressure on the new government. Whoever takes the reins will have a massive in-tray, so we will need to make sure they can’t ignore homelessness. Of course, that is best done together so we will continue to build in ways for our member organisations to drive the campaign forward.

Channel website: http://www.homelesslink.org.uk

Original article link: https://homeless.org.uk/news/a-home-for-everyone-how-we-been-influencing-the-next-government/

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