New minister gives first speech on homelessness at Homeless Link conference

Tuesday, 7 July 2015 - 12:00am

New Local Government Minister, Marcus Jones MP, makes his first speech on homelessness today at Homeless Link’s annual conference, Under One Roof 2015.

Marcus Jones meets delegates before speaking at Under One Roof

The minister, who has responsibility for homelessness, will address over 200 delegates representing a range of organisations and charities working in the homelessness sector. The minister has already indicated that he is keen to look at issues around shifting the sector and public services from crisis driven to prevention services. He has also indicated that he is interested in looking at how the sector supports people into employment.

These are themes that delegates from across the sector will be keen to hear more on and share their views with the minister on how these agendas can be taken forward. It will also be an opportunity for the minister to hear directly from the sector about the key issues and challenges they are facing.

Delegates and Homeless Link’s members will also want to hear from the minister on how they can work with him and his department and other departments across Government. Initiatives such as the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness have been important in developing a cross-departmental focus on homelessness. This is something the sector is keen to build on to ensure a joined up approach across Government.

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link said:

“We are pleased to welcome the new minister to our annual conference. It is an important opportunity for him to address the sector and to hear from those dealing with the day-to-day issues and delivering frontline services.

“The last five years have been challenging, but the sector has continued to develop and innovate to meet demand in an increasingly pressurised environment. Our members have told us the challenges they face and we have a real opportunity to work the new Government over the next five years to develop the most effective responses to these issues.

“It is therefore very encouraging to see the minister taking the time to meet homelessness charities early in the Parliament, and we look forward to working together towards our goal of ending homelessness for good.”

Communities Minister Marcus Jones said:

“This government does not under-estimate the challenges we face in tackling homelessness. One person without a home, is one too many.

“That is why since 2010 we’ve invested more than £500 million in local authorities and the voluntary sector to prevent and tackle homelessness in their local areas. As a result more than 730,000 households have been prevented from becoming homeless.

“We are committed to working collaboratively with the sector to ensure that vulnerable people are given the help and guidance they need to get off the streets and back on their feet.”

Under One Roof is being held 7-8 July at Hinckley Island Hotel. The event will bring together homelessness services, industry experts and suppliers to share innovative approaches, policy updates, and insights into the future of homelessness.

Read the full text of the Minister's speech on the DCLG website.

Follow updates from the event on Twitter using the hashtag #UnderOneRoof2015. 

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James Asser

James served as our Head of Communications until January 2016.

Twitter: @jamesasser