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We respond to Suella Braverman’s remarks on homelessness

6th November 2023

With CPRE’s Rural Affordable Housing report launching later this month, we thoroughly refute Suella Braverman’s notion that ‘homelessness is a lifestyle choice’.

Commentating on Suella Braverman’s remarks, Brad Taylor, Rural Campaigns Officer at CPRE, the countryside charity said:

‘Everyone has a right to live in a home they can afford, and no-one in England should find themselves without a roof over their heads, however under government policies we’ve seen a 24% increase in rates of homelessness in rural areas in the year 2021-2022.

‘Instead of criticising those who find themselves in the unimaginable position of having nowhere to live, we would encourage the Home Secretary to speak to those who have sought to understand the causal factors of rising rates of homelessness. Research commissioned by English Rural, with input from CPRE and others, found that rural poverty exacerbated by high housing costs are the fundamental drivers of rural homelessness. To make matters worse local authorities in rural areas receive 65% less funding per capita than urban areas for homelessness prevention and support services are dispersed and often unavailable.

‘Critically, the shame and stigma associated with homelessness in more affluent rural areas is a significant barrier to getting support. Pushing the blame onto people who find themselves in these circumstances will only exacerbate this problem. 

‘We would like to see a renewed political commitment to ending all homelessness, including rural homelessness. This will require an ambitious plan to alleviate rural poverty and provide a new generation of social rented homes.’

2023 Rural Affordable Housing report

CPRE has conducted widespread research on rural affordable housing which blends GIS spacial mapping and statistics with case studies and current policy. Our 2023 Rural Affordable Housing report launches later this month, so check back soon.

A text in the middle of the countryside
Rural homelessness is on the rise Barrie Sheerman / Alamy Stock Photo


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