I thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for this debate. Both during and after this crisis, no one should be left homeless. Local authorities in all four nations must be supported by the national Government to allow them to take account of the demands of local housing needs. The absence of any credible funding strategy from the UK Government up until now has left local authorities unable properly to tackle homelessness.
This public health crisis has demonstrated that it is the state which can be relied on best to confront our greatest threats. We are a community; we are responsible for one another, and the interdependence of the public and the individual on health and homelessness is clear for all to see.
I was really pleased to hear the Prime Minister say in Parliament yesterday:
“We will be investing considerable sums to make sure that we build the housing and address the social issues to tackle that problem for good”.—[Official Report, Commons, 13/5/20; cols. 245-6.]
When will the Prime Minister publish the details of these considerable sums to build housing, and what does he intend to do to tackle the problem for good? His response is eagerly awaited, especially by those at the sharp end of this housing and homelessness scourge so prevalent in our society.