Help For The Homeless
Far too many people are having their lives ruined by not having an appropriate place to live. For some that means extra help. We need more supported housing, and better mental health care, and more social care support. “Saving” money by cutting these things is not a saving at all – it costs us money through increased demand for hospitals and prisons, and it costs lives.
I want to give credit where it is due. The new families’ housing in Stoke Park has significantly more accommodation – and better accommodation – than the original homeless families’ unit beside the hospital. Additionally, Ipswich Borough Council is not resting on its laurels – the new additional accommodation being built in Sidegate Lane will enable more families and young people in difficulties to avoid having to live in unsuitable “hotel” accommodation.
Of course, as well as supported housing for those who need extra help, almost all young people and families need more genuinely affordable homes, so I am delighted that the Borough is continuing to build council homes wherever and whenever it can, including just round the corner from me in Cauldwell Hall Road. However, the Government isn’t making it easy for Councils to build the houses we need. The Council ought to be allowed to borrow money to build the homes that people are crying out for, and there need to be more generous government grants to help. It should be easier for Councils to compulsorily purchase houses that have stood empty for years, and bring them back into use. Council homes should not be forcibly sold off at less than they cost to build. If any Council homes are sold to their tenants, then there should be finance to replace them one-for-one with new Council homes. And Council homes shouldn’t end up in the hands of buy-to-let landlords who charge significantly more for a worse service.
Ipswich Borough Council is already building Council homes, but with a supportive government we could achieve so much more. Meanwhile, most Ipswich residents want to help the homeless. That is why I supported Ipswich Housing Action Group in the Great East Run in Ipswich last month - if you want to help the homeless in our town, pledge your support by accessing IHAG’s Local Giving page”- http://localgiving.org/charity/ihag