Youth Homelessness — [Dame Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 3:11 pm ar 1 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Felicity Buchan Felicity Buchan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 3:11, 1 Mai 2024

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Dame Siobhain. I thank the House for assembling here to debate the very important topic of youth homelessness, and those in the Public Gallery who have come into Parliament today. I also thank Paula Barker, who I know well as my shadow Minister, for her thoughtful contribution. I will address her big picture points on data and the youth homelessness strategy, but first I will address a few of the specific questions that I have been asked.

I thank my hon. Friend Adam Holloway for his powerful and brief contribution. It is good that he was able to do so with a struggling voice. I agree with him that alcohol and drug addiction are significant drivers of homelessness. That is why the Government are investing £186.5 million over the three-year spending review period, and we allocated £15 million as part of the cross-Government drug strategy. I agree that homelessness is a complex problem, but addiction clearly is part of it. I reassure my hon. Friend that I work incredibly closely with colleagues in the Department of Health.

I also thank Jim Shannon for his contribution. I particularly thank him for participating since housing is devolved in Northern Ireland. He raised powerful points.

The suggestion that the Government are not working in a cross-Government way and are siloed is slightly ironic, because this morning I chaired the cross-Government rough sleeping board, part of which consists of the senior officials in every relevant Department. I assure the House that there is a lot of cross-Government working happening, which is critical.