A member of one of the city’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Patients’ Participation Groups responds to the news of the council’s successful bid for a Rough Sleeping Grant:
“It is good to see the May Government have relaxed their financial persecution of some of the Midlands’ local authorities and are providing cash to allow us to help rough sleepers more.
“Why are Birmingham South Central and (part of) Sandwell/West Birmingham CCG not on the list (like the Cross City Group)? These two CCGs will also have GP practices which have rough sleepers who need help.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s housing report points out: “Homelessness is rising: Official figures show that sleeping rough in England is up 55% since 2010 (and up 78% in London); while families in temporary accommodation are increasing too”
He sees housing policy as a top priority and lists measures needed, including:
- Addressing the issue of out-of-control private rents.
- Ensuring that private rented homes meet basic standards of health and safety.
- Building new council houses and other new homes that are affordable to rent and to buy.
- Tackling land hoarding and land speculation.
As Cheapside’s Andrew Walton writes on the Bioregion Birmingham website: ”Everywhere you walk in the city centre there are rough sleepers. This is not hyperbole. You simply cannot walk around town without seeing people desperately trying to stay warm under sleeping bags, hiding in temporary shelters beneath staircases, or pleading for change from passers-by.
“It is absurd to contrast this image with artists’ impressions of how lovely Birmingham will look; once yet another functional building has been demolished and replaced by unaffordable luxury apartments or office and retail space”.
Read the Corbyn report here: https://watershed2015.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/jc-housing.pdf
Read a December article in the Guardian about Birmingham’s ‘rough sleepers’. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/02/rough-sleeping-on-rise-in-birmingham-after-cuts-to-homelessness-services