Homelessness has increased by twenty per cent since 2010. The bedroom tax and cuts to welfare benefits have exacerbated homelessness and stretched local authority resources who have been burdened with rehousing the new homeless.
Homelessness in modern day Britain is morally unacceptable. UKIP would make the elimination of homelessness their very first housing priority. We need a National Homelessness Register to identify as far as possible all homeless persons, including individual special needs. We must ensure all homeless persons have full access to medical facilities including dental and optical care, counselling and psychological support.
Homelessness can be tackled through providing incentives for landlords to accepts housing benefits tenants. Currently only 19 per cent of landlords are willing to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefits.
It needs the be made easier for persons of no fixed abode to claim income support and other welfare entitlements. In addition, homeless persons are at a high risk of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and exploitation.
Tackling homelessness is fundamental to achieving social fairness and justice. The best way to fight homelessness is by producing more affordable housing. Year by year the housing gap between demand and supply becomes ever wider. The answer lies in exploiting our vast available brownfield land. Which according to the think tank Civitas can facilitate 2.5 million new homes. Further still, we can gain hundreds of thousands homes purely by redesigning many of our old council estates to maximise density. Moreover, we have untold dormant office and commercial units which would better serve the public interest converted to residential.
What is clear we can solve our housing crisis without having to concrete our great British countryside and converting swathes of our valuable farmland.