Youth Homelessness — [Dame Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 3:36 pm ar 1 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Paula Barker Paula Barker Llafur, Liverpool, Wavertree 3:36, 1 Mai 2024

I thank all Members for taking part in this important debate.

I thank Adam Holloway for his contribution, which was delivered with his usual aplomb even if he was quite croaky today. We disagree on the issue of net immigration and those factors—we have served on the Home Affairs Committee together. I suggest that the immigration problems are part of the wider issue of the Government not getting to grips with the backlog, and also the significant money they are spending on hotels. I am sure we will have that debate outside this place when he has his voice back in full flow.

As a journalist, the hon. Gentleman spent time on the streets, and he spoke about drug addiction in his usual, knowledgeable fashion. I completely agree that we have to do more to support people with drug and alcohol addiction. For me, that starts with trauma-informed services. Trauma-informed and trauma-led services should be mandatory, and that is a challenge that I pose to my good friend on the Front Bench, my hon. Friend Mike Amesbury, if we are lucky enough to form a Government at the next election.

Jim Shannon, who is sadly not in his place, delivered his contribution with his usual knowledge and compassion, and it was very interesting to hear about his contributions in Northern Ireland. I know how much this debate means to the sector, which does so much to serve our communities, and particularly young people. Once again, I thank all Members for being here today, and I hope that my colleagues have taken something away from the debate.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Weaver Vale for his valuable contribution. I know, through our many years of friendship, that he understands the issues, and I am committed to ensuring that, in the months ahead, he loses the word “shadow” from his title. We can then start to tackle some of these matters head on, and hopefully together. I applaud his commitment to increasing housing supply, ending section 21 evictions and tackling all forms of homelessness, including youth homelessness. I hope that the shadow Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities team considers how we can learn lessons from the last Labour Government. We had practically eradicated homelessness and rough sleeping by the time we left office in 2010. My good friend spoke about Dame Louise Casey, and I hope we can learn lessons from her marvellous work and have a truly cross-departmental strategy.

I thank the Minister for her thoughtful contribution and reply. I totally respect her commitment to these matters but, sadly, I feel that she is a member of a tired Government who have manifestly failed to deliver on their intention with respect to all forms of homelessness. She has been set up to fail in the same way as some of her predecessors. Homelessness may have briefly been a priority for the Government under the stewardship of Mrs May, but I believe it has since fallen down the agenda.

I finish by imploring right hon. and hon. Members to continue talking about youth homelessness. Please talk up the need for a national youth homelessness strategy and be the voice for those 136,000 young people, because they deserve to have a life well lived in which they can fulfil their potential and realise their dreams, hopes and aspirations.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered youth homelessness.

Sitting suspended.