Housing

We will make sure our political leaders keep their promises on homelessness

As we mark our 27th birthday, we challenge national and metropolitan leaders, including Sadiq Khan and James Brokenshire, to clearly set out the measures they are implementing to prevent people dying on the streets this winter

Over the last year hundreds of people have died while homeless in the UK. Some died on the streets, some died in hospitals, others in temporary shelters or hostels. Some people were found dead in tents in woodland. At least 449 homeless people, but probably more, lost their lives.

The shocking toll horrified Britain. When we broke the story of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s findings following its year-long study, the outcry was loud and understandable. The premature and preventable death count is a national tragedy. The causes of their deaths range from illness and exposure to prolonged starvation, drug overdoses, violence, murder and suicide, with an average age of just 49 for the men and 53 for the women.

Following this investigation, the Office for National Statistics announced it too would start counting homeless deaths. At the very least it will mean the most marginalised people in life are not simply forgotten in death.

With another bitterly cold winter forecast, the challenges for people in Britain who find themselves homeless will not lessen. At The Big Issue we advocate prevention. We want to see clear and early help for those who may fall into poverty and homelessness. We believe that this is the proper way to deal with the issue.

We will not stand by

However, it won’t help people right at the sharp end, people who need assistance now. Of course, selling The Big Issue is a great means to work out of poverty. But sometimes this is not enough. There needs to be a collective coming together of plans for help and intervention. At The Big Issue we frequently speak for those without a voice. We advocate on their behalf and we take their fight to the corridors of power. As we mark our 27th birthday, that is exactly what we’re doing. This week we challenge national and metropolitan leaders to clearly set out the measures they are implementing to prevent people dying on the streets this winter.

And now we’re going to watch and hold them to account if they don’t act on these plans.

We will speak for those without a voice.

Lives depend on it.

In this week’s special edition, we hear from Britain’s political leaders, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Secretary of State for Communities James Brokenshire, and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, on how they can keep their promises on homelessness.

Read the full article in this week's Big Issue.
Find your vendor
The Rewild Ones

If you can’t find a vendor near you head to The Big Issue Shop for your copy of this week’s magazine.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?
rents uk
Renting

Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives
rough sleeping and temporary accommodation in Scotland is under the spotlight on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
homelessness

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives

'More bad news for renters': Rental crisis continues with steep rent rises despite inflation falling
inflation is falling but rents are still rising at a faster rate than wages
RENTING

'More bad news for renters': Rental crisis continues with steep rent rises despite inflation falling

Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?
Angela Rayner announces Labour new town plan
Housing

Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know