Blog: Beating homelessness in Croydon by Hannah Miller

We all need a place we can call 'home'. It gives us a basic sense of security that allows us to get on in life.

And yet many people in Croydon lack this basic necessity. In fact, homelessness has been on the increase in our borough several years in a row.

A major cause is insecurity in the rental market. Fellow Commissioner Mashhood Ahmed last week set out what we think can be done to help create a more secure private rented sector.

But other steps must be taken to stem the rising tide of homelessness. Crucially, genuinely affordable homes need to be made available so that people aren’t priced out of the housing market.

Some of our ideas about how we can help tackle homelessness are set out below.

- We believe that we need to use Croydon’s best assets to support homeless people. This could include a drive to work with home owners willing to provide lodgings for the homeless, tapping into the altruistic spirit of many Croydon residents but also remunerating them.

- We want to maximise the use of available land and put communities at the heart of this challenge. For example, by maximising transparency on unused land and supporting community land trusts and other types of not for profit ownership, we can develop better land use.

- We want to see new funding made available to tackle homelessness. One idea is to support community based Social Impact Bonds. The logic here is to evaluate the success of projects by looking at the social outcomes achieved – so, if a project helps reduce homelessness, further funds are made available.

These are some of our ideas. We want to hear what you think of them to help refine them and turn them into practice.

To get in touch with your thoughts you can email contact@opportunitycroydon.org, call 0800 612 2182, or Tweet on @OppCroydon.

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