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Housing for the Homeless - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Labour 5:00 pm, 14th May 2020

My Lords, addressing the worst forms of homelessness requires that there be sufficient settled accommodation, and it certainly requires an increase in the supply of affordable housing in the true sense of that term. Also, as in times past, the housing crisis requires a significant programme of council house building. It is clear that we have a housing crisis in this country. It is not on the scale of or as dangerous as the Covid-19 pandemic, although for some, it might be as real.

What might we take from the pandemic? It is that, when the state mobilises, it can address huge challenges. We have seen billions and billions of pounds of public money applied, quite properly, to support individuals, businesses and communities. We have seen the mobilisation of the skills of the public sector through multidisciplinary and multiagency working. We have seen productive partnerships between the public and private sectors. We have seen the intellectual power of our science space brought to bear. In due course, we must enjoin all this capability and these approaches to solve the housing crisis, which we have had for too long in this country.