The next Labour Government will repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824, which criminalises rough sleeping, as I explained in a debate in Parliament yesterday.
There are often genuine reasons why rough sleepers cannot use any shelter that is available and we must support them.
Over the last ten years, wages have fallen in many sectors, jobs have become more insecure and the cost of housing in the private rented sector has increased. Punishing rough sleepers will not address any of these causes of homelessness.
It’s time the government prioritised the prevention of rough sleeping and conducted a mass housebuilding programme to create the truly affordable homes that we need.