Friday 28 October 2016

Homelessness Reduction Bill passes its second reading

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All councils in England will be given more responsibilities to prevent people from becoming homeless if the new Bill is implemented. 

On Friday 28 October 2016 the Homelessness Reduction Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons. It is thought the bill could help prevent more than 40,000 people from becoming homeless each year.

It will place a legal responsibility on councils to house people experiencing homelessness and enable them to help single homeless people in a way they are not currently able to.

Simon Grainge, Chief Executive of Emmaus UK said “This is a big step forward in improving support for people who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness. There is an urgent need to take action to reverse the rapid increase in rough sleeping, which grew by 30% in 2015 and has more than doubled since 2010. Today’s outcome is a big step on the way to the Bill becoming law and making a real difference to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. With the Government’s support we are hopeful the Bill will complete its passage through Parliament quickly.”

As well as having a devastating personal impact on the individual, homelessness also carries high costs to the health service, the criminal justice system and other local and national government departments. By preventing 40,000 people from becoming homeless it could save the state as much as £370m a year.