Since the pandemic, 207,543 households have approached their local authorities for help regarding homelessness. The absolutely critical need to stay home and stay safe can only be met if everybody is ‚’in‚’. The pandemic has highlighted growing inequalities in housing across the board, from visible rough sleepers to ‚’sofa surfers‚’, to victims of domestic violence and relationship breakdown, to investor landlords struggling to make mortgage payments. We saw rough sleepers being herded into car parks with coffin size spaces taped out for each person on the concrete floor ‚’ designating their new temporary home – to keep them contained to try and stop the spread of the virus. We have seen unprecedented numbers of people using foodbanks due to being furloughed or made redundant. Mortgage and rent costs being so high that many working people are being tipped into food and fuel poverty. Frontline workers being separated from their loved ones due to the need to isolate. Families separated by geographic tier systems with an impact on physical and mental wellbeing. Second homes being occupied despite restrictions being in place to protect local communities. Holiday homes sitting empty despite the desperate need for housing. New developments halted or mothballed due to the impact of Covid on the workforce. The demand for housing grows – plans are for 300,000 new homes each year, at the expense of land for growing crops. We cannot grow more land. A radical solution is needed for now and for the future. To protect our future, we all need to be ‘In’.
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