MPs back ‘once in a generation’ change to homelessness law

28 October 2016

The Homelessness Reduction Bill received its second reading in Parliament today, moving one step closer to becoming law.

Dominic Williamson, Executive Director of Strategy and Policy at St Mungo’s, said:
 
“We congratulate MPs and the government for supporting this once in a generation opportunity to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We also welcome the government’s commitment to providing new funding to councils to support the implementation of the legislation announced today by Local Government Minister Marcus Jones.

“I would like to thank almost 4,000 St Mungo’s campaigners who contacted their MP to ask them to attend the debate and support the Bill.
 
"We look forward to working with MPs and the government to ensure the Bill continues to progress through Parliament and is implemented quickly and effectively.
 
“If the Homelessness Reduction Bill becomes law, it will be a major step towards ensuring help to prevent and tackle homelessness is available to everyone. It will fill a gap in legislation that means many people get little or no support to avoid the dangers of sleeping rough.
 
“The number of people sleeping without a roof over their head in England is increasing, having doubled since 2010. Rough sleeping ruins lives and too many people are dying on our streets. We know that 129 rough sleepers have died in London in the last six years.
 
"Local Government Minister Marcus Jones said during today’s debate that “no one should have to sleep rough to get the help they need”. This is an important and welcome commitment and one we will be watching closely to make sure there are arrangements in every area that make it a reality.”

The Bill has been introduced by the backbench Conservative MP Bob Blackman.

The Bill contains amendments to the 1996 Housing Act, which represent a number of significant improvements to the existing duties on councils to help those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The Bill maintains the existing duty on councils to secure accommodation for homeless households in ‘priority need’, including families with children and very vulnerable adults.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill would not have passed this stage without the help of our campaigners, but it still has a way to go before it becomes law. Become a St Mungo's campaigner and help make it happen, sign up to get the latest campaign updates and actions by email. 

Read more about the Homelessness Reduction Bill here

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