Policy and Advocacy

You can get involved with Shared Health’s work with homeless families by helping us campaign for policy change and building a network of advocates; across housing, Councils, national government and local communities.

There are a few quick actions you can take in your local area, across Greater Manchester and nationally. We would also like to hear from you if you work in any area connected to homeless families or are interested to find out more about our advocacy work, just send us an email.

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Locally

Email your local Councillor and ask them to put forward our council motion on homeless families. Or if you are a Local Councillor, please get in touch about the issues behind our motion and how we can support you to bring it forward.

See our motion template.

 

A council motion allows individual Councillors to create or alter a local policy your Council is responsible for. They do this by bringing a motion (speech) to full council and convincing other Councillors to support it. The document you are sending is a proposed motion, this can be edited or added to, it’s just a suggestion, but contains some very achievable policy changes for local councils.

Find your local Councillors here.

City Region

Email your Mayor and ask what work they and their Combined Authority are doing with homeless families. Most mayors have strong commitments on street homelessness, but are less vocal about homeless families, what policies or campaigns they have in place to support homeless families, or what they are doing to reduce the numbers of families becoming homeless in their city region.

You can use our template email here (sample link text), edit it or create your own, the more individual the better for getting their attention.

You can find the contact details for your local Mayor here: (sample link text)

If you work for a Combined Authority, Mayor’s Office or Health and Social Care Partnership, please get in touch. We would love to share our work in Greater Manchester and hear what best practice your city region is undertaking.

Nationally

Email your local MP to encourage them to ask questions about family homelessness in Parliament and join our APPG on Households in Temporary Accommodation, you can find who your local MP is and their contact details at: (sample link text)

Here’s a template (sample link text)

The Households in Temporary Accommodation APPG, coordinated by Justlife alongside Shared Health Foundation, aims to:

Improve the lives and experiences of families and individuals living in temporary accommodation across England
Investigate issues relating to temporary accommodation that can lead to trauma (or re-traumatisation), poor health and long-term entrenchment within the homelessness system
Find solutions in the short, medium and long-term

Why have we set up a Temporary Accommodation APPG?

Hidden homeless households living in temporary accommodation face particular challenges that cannot be addressed through rough sleeping initiatives, and therefore need unique focus. This need drives the call for the Households in Temporary Accommodation APPG.

We fully support the work of the Ending Homelessness APPG and believe their work is desperately needed. We also believe, in addition to their work, if we do not address temporary accommodation it will have a lasting and damaging effect on the future of countless children, as well as families, individuals and society in the coming years.

The context

Temporary accommodation has become a long-term housing solution for too many vulnerable homeless households in England. Longer stays in this insecure, often poor-quality, accommodation can result in serious impact on the health and wellbeing of residents.

For families with children, this can lead to long-term mental health issues, disengagement from education and diminished future opportunities. As well as more immediate impacts such as serious safeguarding concerns, inability to access school or register with nearby primary healthcare services. For single homeless individuals, it also leads to worsening mental and physical health, often coupled with trauma and a further entrenchment in homelessness.

Currently there are 98,300 households, including 138,000 children, living in temporary accommodation, an increase of 10,000 households from six months previously. Although sufficient affordable housing would be a game-changer, we cannot wait to take action until more housing is built. We need immediate action to improve experiences in temporary accommodation in order to improve the health, wellbeing and outlook for all those currently living in this housing.

If you would like to attend the APPG on Tuesday 7th December at 10.00am, please email sam.pratt@sharedhealth.org.uk