Youth Homelessness — [Dame Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 2:57 pm ar 1 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government) 2:57, 1 Mai 2024

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship once again, Dame Siobhain. I speak not only as the shadow Minister responding to this debate on youth homelessness, but as a former Connexions manager. It was my job, with my team, to get people into education, training, work and housing.

Like other hon. Members, I pay tribute to my hon. Friend Paula Barker for securing this important debate. As a former shadow Minister and the joint chair of the all-party parliamentary group for ending homelessness, she has a genuine passion for this subject, as she showed eloquently in her powerful speech. Like myself and many others, she is determined to provide the homes, support and housing that young people need.

Yesterday, as my hon. Friend said, this Government broke even more records on homelessness. Despite bold promises to end the most visible form of homelessness—rough sleeping—by the end of this year, in reality, rough sleeping, which affects many young people up and down the country, rose by 27% last year. That is more than double the number of people recorded as rough sleeping in 2010, when records began.

Despite spending a considerable amount of money—I imagine the Minister will reference a figure around £2.3 billion—the current approach is simply not working. It is broken. It is there for all to see, whether it be a visible form of homelessness on the streets of London, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and so forth, or the people many of us know who come to our surgeries and who are sofa surfing or living in temporary accommodation. Is the Minister confident that the Government will deliver on the target of ending rough sleeping by the end of 2024? What is not working? It would be useful to have a response in the not-too-distant future.