Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

Government's Homelessness Review

Tory Ho

But beneath the media surface....

Squall 6, Spring 1994, pg. 37.

The above article demonstrates just how media tongue tied the officially funded charities are. However, it is unrepresentative of the body of work that the likes of SHELTER are doing. Word has it that Sheila MacKechnie was a might miffed with Sir George Young for misusing her rather polite response to the outrageous proposals in the Homelessness Review Green Paper.

SHELTER,CHAR and SHAC have, in fact, gone on to Red Alert in order to mobilise opposition to the worst and most blatant Government disregard for homelessness in at least the last 14 years. The closing date for the consultation period on the Homelessness Review was March 14th and if other Government consultation processes are anything to go by, the conclusions will be unreflective of the input (see 'Consultation Exorcise' in this issue).

John Battle, Shadow Minister of Housing:

"On the subject of shame, is not the reality that here, the shame rests with the Conservative Party? Will the Secretary of State, instead of scapegoating single mothers, and now the homeless in general, and rubbing out people's right to a secure home by offering only a short-term break of six months in a private rented bedsit, cancel this uncalled-for, unwanted, back-to-basics-tainted review of homelessness legislation, which is crudely geared to fiddling the homelessness figures - doing to the homeless what the Government have done to the unemployed and doing absolutely nothing to tackle the real housing and homelessness problem, which the Government are deliberately turning into a crisis?"

John Gummer, Secretary of State for Environment (reply):

"I do not think that it is acceptable that a family with children living in very bad housing should wait and wait and wait while people who are statutorily homeless, even though they have a better roof over their heads, jump the queue." Hypothetical, emotive and unreflective of reality - A Tory Orator.

(from oral answers - Hansard 16/2/94)