The Liberal Democrats have today renewed calls for “a more compassionate and holistic approach” to tackling homelessness following the publication of new government statistics today which revealed a 26.8% rise in households in Bristol assessed as either homeless or threatened with homelessness, way above the national average of 11.4%.
Latest government statistics show 742 households in Bristol assessed as either homeless or threatened with homelessness in the April-June 2019 period. This marks a growth of over a quarter (26.8%) over the same period in 2018 which recorded 585 households as either homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Bristol West, James Cox, said:
"The rise in the number of homeless households in Bristol shows quite clearly the Conservative government's approach isn't working.
“We urgently need to take a more compassionate and holistic approach, across government, to tackling this crisis in Bristol. Given the clear connection between a history of mental health problems and homelessness, any solution must involve better mental health provision.
“We also need to scrap the Dickensian Vagrancy Act, which continues to be used by our Labour-run local authority to criminalise rough sleeping for those who fall through the safety net and end up on Bristol's streets.
“As Christmas approaches and the weather gets colder, I hope this serves as a wake-up call. We can and must do better.”