There are no clear national statistics to tell us how many people are homeless in the UK. To give an indication of the scale of the problem, the Autumn 2014 total of rough sleeping counts and estimates in England was 2,744, according to the government. This was an increase of 14 per cent on 2013 figures. Meanwhile, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England in 2013/4.
The scale of homelessness in 2015 is morally reprehensible and UKIP will seek to eliminate this national scandal.
Tackling homelessness starts with knowing who and where homeless people are, so they can be offered housing and other life opportunities. We will establish a National Homeless Register to make it easier for those of no fixed abode to claim welfare entitlements; get access to medical and dental services; and enable support services to identify those at risk of physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
LOCAL HOMES FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
UKIP will encourage moves by local authorities to prioritise people with strong local connections when making housing allocations.
We will relieve pressure on social housing waiting lists by preventing foreign nationals from obtaining access to social housing until they have lived here and paid UK Tax and National Insurance for a minimum of five years. This restriction will not apply to foreign nationals with current social housing tenancies.
RIGHT TO BUY AND HELP TO BUY
UKIP supports the principle of extending home ownership and giving people the right to own the homes they may have lived in for generations as social housing tenants.
We will plough 100 per cent of all revenue from Right to Buy sales, after essential costs have been paid back, into new community housing.
We will not allow non-British nationals access to the Right to Buy or Help to Buy schemes, unless they have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Given that Britain’s social housing stock is so massively oversubscribed, we do not believe it is either sensible or fair to give foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain social housing stock, buy their home at a discount and then sell it for an untaxed profit before moving back abroad.
All local authorities, social landlords and housing associations will be required to register the nationality of their tenants in order to ensure this policy works in practice.
In the same way, only British citizens will be permitted to access Help to Buy schemes