Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Can we expect the next government to Make Homelessness History?

can we make homelessness history inside a house outline. 7-10 min read.

Written by Jen Clark, Economic Social and Cultural Rights Lead at Amnesty UK

"Homelessness is a profound assault on dignity, social inclusion and the right to life.” Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (A/HRC/43/43, para.30)

People experiencing homelessness have reached record highs

The number of people experiencing homelessness including rough sleeping and households living in temporary accommodation has reached alarming record highs. In this context, we might be forgiven for expecting that any party aspiring to form the next government on July 5th 2024, would prioritise tackling homelessness in all its forms. 

Therefore, as Political Parties' manifestos launched, we were keen to understand if, in the face of a Homelessness challenge of historic proportions, a new Government would take the opportunity to Make Homelessness History. Our analysis focuses on England because this is where we have done previous research

Changes throughout the last parliament in parties’ level of commitment to ending homelessness

Amnesty International UK have looked across the manifestos of the major parties comparing those from elections in 2019 and 2024. We were looking for indications that tackling homelessness will likely be high on the agenda in the next parliament for both those in government and MPs in opposition parties who will aim to influence or critique their agenda.  

We have created the table below showing homelessness commitments in party manifestos comparing those made in 2019 and 2024.  

We welcome measures within party manifestos which aim to tackle the housing crisis such as ending lack of secure tenancy, better regulation to drive up housing quality and increase the supply of affordable homes.

Ending homelessness, however, means addressing not only housing supply and affordability but also the systemic root causes and consequences of homelessness, ensuring the protection of everyone’s right to housing without discrimination.


Most of the parties vying for power this time around, appear to dedicate much less word count in manifestos to tackling homelessness.

Since homelessness has worsened significantly since the last election, it is baffling to see that this time around, most of the parties vying for power appear to dedicate much less word count and made far fewer concrete commitments in manifestos to tackling homelessness.

Looking at the tables, do you notice the same difference we have? There is a trend across the parties of taking a much lighter touch approach to committing to ending homelessness than in the 2019 election period.


As the problem of homelessness worsens, the political will to tackle it needs to grow, be firmer and translate to concrete results. This must be a priority for whoever forms the new government and we will be working to ensure it is. 

For the hundreds of thousands of people finding themselves homeless in 2024, their hopes for change, an end to homelessness, and that a new government will deliver on their right to housing, are surely waning. 

Policy is too often made behind closed doors by those lacking first-hand experience. We believe that the best solutions to end homelessness will come from involving those who have lived it. They deserve a seat at the table when decisions are made about how to Make Homelessness History.

When we spoke to people in England experiencing homelessness for our report in 2022 and again in 2023 and 2024, this is what they told us they wanted to see:

  • A fully funded action plan to ‘Make Homelessness History’ with cross-government department accountability.  
  • Starting the repeal of the vagrancy act without finding other ways to criminalise people for being homeless.  
  • Proper regulation of the quality of all forms of rented housing quality so people aren’t forced to live in places which impact their health and well-being.
  • Reform of homelessness legislation and guidance to remove eligibility conditions that deny thousands of people access to housing.

Whoever forms the next government needs to ensure they deliver more than the plans in their manifestos. There is an opportunity for making homelessness history and we will work to ensure they take it. 


Learn more

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts