The Emmaus Action on Homelessness manifesto sets out six key steps for the next government to tackle this most urgent and devastating of social crises:

  • Act on Supported Housing
  • Create more affordable homes
  • Take a cross-government approach
  • Invest for the long-term
  • On the ground consultation
  • No-one criminalised for being homeless

Our manifesto not only provides a platform for us to lay out what we are fighting for ahead of the General Election, but for the whole of the next Parliamentary term.

It brings together a set of priorities that the next government can be held to account on and show they are determined to bring about change.

But where do the main parties currently stand on ending homelessness?

Here, Sam Dalton, Emmaus UK’s Policy, Campaigns & External Affairs Manager, explains what the three biggest parties have already been saying in the run-up to the election, including in their own manifestos.

An opportunity to make a real difference

The three main political parties all make specific comments and commitments when it comes to ending homelessness, being very specific in some areas, while offering more general ambitions in others.

There is certainly a huge opportunity to make a real difference in the next Parliament, and we are pleased that the key steps for ACTION on homelessness come through strongly in some of the commitments made by different parties.


Having formed the governments of the last 14 years, the Conservative manifesto presents action on homelessness as a continuation of what it has already been doing. For instance, saying it wants to continue its plans to end rough sleeping and preventing people ending up on the streets in the first place, and renewing the existing Affordable Homes programme, which includes new homes for affordable and social rent, as we call for.

The commitment to pass a Renters Reform Bill, which would create a fairer and more secure private rented sector  through the abolition of ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions, is something the party had been working towards, but had not yet delivered, prior to the election announcement.

However, there are also some new commitments, including passing a new law to ensure better treatment and support for severe mental health needs in the first session of the new Parliament. This moves towards the cross-government focus we believe is needed to end homelessness, not only focusing on housing but other policy areas like health and care too.


This cross-government approach comes across particularly strongly in the Labour manifesto. There is a commitment to a cross-government strategy on ending homelessness, working closely with Mayors and councils across the country. In different parts of the manifesto, the party says they will tackle the social determinants of poor health, as well as link up housing, health and probation in local areas, both of which would help to tackle the causes of homelessness.

On housing, the party says they will deliver the biggest increase in affordable and social housing in a generation, though don’t state exactly how many homes of this type would be provided as part of their overall target of 1.5 million new homes. For private renters, Labour says they will immediately abolish Section 21 evictions.

There is some promise when it comes to longer-term investment, with multi-year funding settlements promised for local councils, to replace existing short-term injections of money.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats offer the boldest commitment on affordable homes out of the three biggest parties, promising 150,000 new social homes per year. They too would get rid of Section 21 evictions and enact other reforms to make private renting more secure.

These housing policies would be one part of the overall ambition to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, which would also be spurred by the publication of an urgent cross-Whitehall plan on ending homelessness, and introduction of a legal duty to ensure everyone who is at risk of sleeping rough is provided with emergency accommodation and a needs assessment.

On investment, the party wants to ensure local councils have the proper funds to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act, while on ending the criminalisation of homelessness, the party arguably has the clearest statement of intent, saying that the Vagrancy Act, which remains in force, would be scrapped.

Emmaus UK looks forward to working closely with whoever forms the next government to make the demands in the Emmaus manifesto a reality, and change lives across the country.

Read the Emmaus Action on Homelessness manifesto.