Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, explains what action the Council is taking to be Homeless Friendly.
I was proud to sign Islington Council up to the Homeless Friendly Campaign Pledge with Council Leader Richard Watts last week. The Pledge commits Islington Council to continue to work to meet the needs of homeless people in Islington, including training staff to fully meet their needs and ensuring procedures are homeless friendly.
Islington Council has been innovative in its approach to helping homeless people in our borough, with the Housing First programme offering a secure home and wraparound support to people in a pilot scheme to enable them to address the challenges in their lives.
In Council Budget proposals published earlier this month we’ve committed to building on recent success tackling rough sleeping, by mainstreaming funding for specialist outreach officers and a co-ordinator to help people get their lives back on track and a roof over their heads.
The Tory government have consistently failed to take action to support the most vulnerable in our society, with homelessness rising every year since 2010. Despite core government funding to the Council being cut by 70% since 2010, Islington Labour are working hard to protect the services that people rely on in our borough. It is unacceptable that anyone is forced to sleep on the streets, even for one night, and Islington Labour are committed to preventing homelessness, and helping homeless people.
Particularly at this time of year, when the temperature can regularly drop below zero, no one should be forced to sleep rough. Islington Labour’s bold 2018 manifesto pledged to tackle homelessness by providing the tailored support that homeless people need, and we are proud to be putting our values into action by signing up to the Homeless Friendly Pledge.