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Housing

Have you signed The Big Issue petition to Stop Mass Homelessness?

More than 1,000 people have added their signature to back our nine-point plan to prevent thousands from losing their homes

More than 1,000 people have signed the Big Issue petition to back our bid to prevent thousands of people hit by the pandemic from losing their homes.

The Big Issue’s Stop Mass Homelessness campaign, launched this week, lays out a nine-point plan to prevent “an avalanche” of homelessness hitting the UK later this year.

It follows the revelation that one household was made homeless every three and a half hours in the first 90 days of this year, which was revealed by our analysis.

A petition asking the public to back the plan has seen a rush of support. Big Issue Ambassadors Christopher Eccleston, George Clarke and Daniel Mays, as well as senior politicians, have also called for action to prevent homelessness.

One signee, who gave her name as Aileen M, said: “We need to change for the better the unfairness in society that means that so many people live in discomfort, fear and basically unacceptable conditions. Having no home is unthinkable and [it’s] appalling that we can let this happen to anybody let alone so many. Our governments should make sure it doesn’t.”

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David M, who also signed the petition, said: “These demands are clearly ethical and reasonable, and also very achievable. All that’s required is some juggling of budgets and the WILL to act on the injustice.”

The nine-point plan is calling for action on the following points.

  • Pay off £360m in rent arrears
  • Suspend no-fault evictions until a Renters’ Reform Act is passed
  • Make permanent the £20 Universal Credit uplift
  • Improve access to Discretionary Housing Payment and unfreeze Local Housing Allowance

To address long-term challenges we also call for:

  • A Future Generations Act to end short-term thinking of government policy
  • Expand social housing and encourage innovative ways to increase housing stock
  • Improve support for financial literacy education
  • Increase support for ethical property and letting firms
  • Invest to create new green jobs

The plan has also received backing from Shadow Housing Secretary Lucy Powell. The Labour MP said: “The Big Issue this week warns that ‘more people are at risk of homelessness than at any time in living memory’, yet the Housing Secretary said nobody should lose their home as a result of the pandemic. It’s time he made good on his promise.”

And Lara Oyedele, who is hoping to be the next Vice President of the Chartered Institute for Housing, said: “As a former #roughsleeper with ambitions of becoming @CIHhousing’s next vice president, I totally support @BigIssue’s #StopMassHomelessness. We can do better.”

We want you to join the campaign. Sign our petition to make a difference at bigissue.com/stop-mass-homelessness

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