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Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link the national membership charity for frontline homelessness organisations, said:

“Today Rishi Sunak admitted that vulnerable households need targeted support to get through the coming few months of an unprecedented cost of living crisis. But unfortunately, by focusing on tax cuts for those in work, the measures announced don’t go anywhere near far enough to provide the stability the most vulnerable households need to avoid being pushed into homelessness. 

“While Sunak announced a range of policies to help people in work in the short-term, he has not listened to calls from across the political spectrum to invest in our struggling welfare system, and has almost entirely excluded those not in full-time work from consideration. Rather than relying on temporary fixes like the Household Support Fund, the Government should seek to make our welfare system fit for purpose by unfreezing LHA rates and restoring the Universal Credit £20 uplift to help those on low-incomes stay afloat and lead dignified lives. The £40 million cut to the Discretionary Housing Payment announced last week will not make this any easier.  

“When the cost of living increases, homelessness does too. Those not in work will have to navigate the coming months with the support of a welfare system still reeling from recent cuts and continued shortages of homes for social rent. This could lead to a wave of homelessness and brings the Government’s target of ending rough sleeping by 2024 into serious question.”