Thursday 23 March 2017

Homelessness Reduction Bill Statement

Palace of Westminster eye

The House of Lords has passed the first major piece of homelessness legislation in 40 years.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill will give councils in England more responsibilities to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. It could help prevent more than 40,000 people from becoming homeless each year and save the state as much as £370m a year.

Simon Grainge, Chief Executive of Emmaus UK said: “This is excellent news. There is an urgent need to take action to reverse the rapid increase in rough sleeping, which grew by 16% in 2016 and has more than doubled since 2010. This new legislation is a huge step forward in improving support for people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness.

“Taking actions to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place is a big step forward and we hope local authorities are given the financial resources they need to fulfil these new duties. It is also essential that the government does not undo this great work with its new welfare reform policies. There is a risk the policies could unintentionally penalise charities and supported housing providers who are working hard to help those who have experienced homelessness.”

The Homelessness Reduction Bill now only needs Royal Assent before it is passed into law.