Earlier today I wrote about the prediction that the number of people who are rough sleeping would increase by 76% by 2026, having already doubled since 2010.
I called for the appointment of a Minister for Rough Sleeping who would focus exclusively on the issue and not be reshuffled until the next general election.
I have been reminded by a colleague that there is already a Minister for Homelessness although neither my colleague or I could name her/him. To be honest I didn’t even know there was such a post – clearly the best kept secret in Westminster.
Google told me that it’s the Minister is Marcus Jones, as I am sure you all already knew. Apologies for my ignorance. He is a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Local Government) and he is responsible for:
- Local government policy, including local government reform
- Local government finances (including local authority sustainability and business rates retention)
- Adult social care
- Local government interventions policy and oversight of existing interventions
- Local government pensions
- Troubled Families
- Supported housing
- Parks and green spaces
And in his spare time he is responsible for homelessness, that is all homelessness which includes the:
- 9,100 people sleeping rough,
- 68,300 households sofa surfing
- 19,300 households living in unsuitable temporary accommodation
- 37,200 households living in hostels
- 26,000 households living in other circumstances, including 8,900 households sleeping in tents, cars or on public transport, 12,100 households living in squats, and 5,000 households in women’s refuges or winter night shelters.
I am so reassured that we have a Minister who can give the necessary focus to the issue of rough sleeping.
What’s his name again ….?