We are calling on all candidates standing in the 6 May elections to sign a pledge committing them to focus on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.

The Everyone In For Good pledge, coordinated by national umbrella body Homeless Link, seeks to build on the success of the Everyone In initiative, when anyone homeless or at risk of becoming homeless during the first lockdown in March 2020 was provided with emergency accommodation. More than 33,000 people were provided with safe housing and, as a result, rates of COVID-19 infection among people experiencing homelessness remained low.

Next week, Dover residents will elect representatives to join the District and County Councils, as well as the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, all of whom have key roles to play in tackling homelessness in the local area.

Debra Stevenson, Community Manager at Emmaus Dover, said, “Homelessness is not inevitable. We hope that all the candidates standing in the elections will show their commitment to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness in Dover by signing the Everyone In For Good pledge. Huge efforts have been made over the past year to bring people off the streets and help them to stay safe during the pandemic. However, if this progress is to be maintained, we need enough affordable housing and the right support for people to move on from rough sleeping for good.

“The ban on bailiff-led evictions is due to be lifted at the end of May and there is a real danger that we will see a new wave of homelessness, as so many households have lost income during the pandemic and fallen into rent arrears. It’s more important than ever that all election candidates show their commitment to ensuring that addressing homelessness and providing enough decent, affordable housing in Dover remain top priorities in the months and years to come.”