This letter was printed in the Sheffield Telegraph on July 1st 2021.
Lockdown has shown that as a country, and as a city, we can do amazing things. One of those was to address the issue of homelessness. With funding provided to give every homeless person a place to stay, lockdown managed what hasn’t been done before, with many people getting the security of a home. But homelessness due to domestic abuse has increased in Sheffield through lockdown and the ban on evictions, which reduced homelessness in our city, is being eased away along with other support. A rise in people sleeping rough on Sheffield streets after the pandemic seems inevitable.
Lord John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, said this week on homelessness, “short-term ‘quick fixes’ are applied, which are far more expensive than if we could prevent people from sliding into homelessness in the first place.” We need to plan a way out of this. Not just homelessness, but all the long-term problems we face. That means facing up to some hard choices.
The ‘Future Generations Bill’ is currently in the House of Lords, backed by Lord Bird and led by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons. It will require any Government or local authority in England to think about the impact of decisions made now on future generations. On our children and grandchildren. A similar act has already had an impact in Wales, pausing road building as the government there thinks seriously about clean air and child health. The pandemic has proven that we can protect people from hardship and poverty if the will is there. Please go to todayfortomorrow.org.uk to find out more and see how you can protect future generations.
Ecclesall Green Party