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Director's Discussion on Homelessness

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Brewery Room, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge

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There is a large recent increase in the number of people who are homeless. As well as those caught by the official statistics, who may be sleeping rough or in a shelter, there are many whose homelessness is hidden - those who are in unsuitable or unstable accommodation, such as ‘sofa surfers’.

The factors driving homelessness and insecure accommodation are numerous and changing. The leading cause of homelessness is now the end of short assured tenancies in the private rented sector. Failing to prevent homelessness has a devastating impact on the individual and also financial cost implications, costing the taxpayer an annual gross cost of £1 billion. Without a permanent address many find it hard to access services, benefits and practical opportunities to find a job, get advice or vote. Tragically, this results in poorer quality of life and life expectancy. The average age of death for a street homeless person is only 47 years old.

This Director’s Discussion asks: how do we end homelessness in Britain? We bring together a panel of experts from academia, policy, and the Third Sector to discuss such pressing issues as how we address the huge shortage of housing, particularly affordable homes, across England; what the government must do to tackle homelessness and those facing insecure housing; what is needed to address short-fallings in social care and mental health services; and how we can better meet the particular needs of young rough sleepers in Cambridge.

We welcome students, staff, fellows and alumnus of the College for this discussion over refreshments and wine. More details to follow.

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Brewery Room, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge

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