Big Issue Foundation

Progress made towards the passing of Homelessness Reduction Bill

Friday the 28th saw progress being made towards some much needed landmark legislation aimed at reducing homelessness.

Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill passed its crucial second reading in the House of Commons, without a single vote against it…

If passed, the bill place a new duty on councils to prevent the homelessness of anyone eligible for assistance within 56 days, regardless of their “priority need” status. Single people are not typically regarded as priority need by local authorities.

It has been widely supported by homelessness charities, and will also change 40-year rules penalising single people trying to get help with housing.

Responding, Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said: “This is a landmark moment, and we’d like to thank the 100+ MPs from across the political spectrum who came together to back this unique bill, as well as Government ministers for offering their support at such a critical time.

We are particularly grateful to Mr Blackman MP for the passion and dedication he has shown in bringing the bill to this stage, and to the thousands of campaigners who took action urging their MPs to attend.

We still have a long way to go before this bill becomes law, but we’ll be there every step of the way to help make sure that happens. For 40 years we’ve had a system that fails too many homeless people. Time and again we hear from people who were turned away from help when they needed it most, despite the fact they had nowhere left to go. Yet if councils get the funding to make it work, the Homelessness Reduction Bill could help put an end to that injustice once and for all.

We have the momentum and we have the cross party consensus, and today’s success shows what can be done when people come together to tackle homelessness. Yet this is no time for complacency. We must continue to build on what we’ve achieved today, both to get the bill through parliament and to make it work for homeless people if and when it finally becomes law.”

Stephen Robertson, CEO of The Big Issue Foundation, said: “This is great news indeed. Now time to ensure it happens so I urge everyone to write to their MP and make sure this happens!”

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