Crisis | No-one Turned Away campaign for Homelessness Reduction Bill

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This is our moment… but we need 100 MPs to make it perfect. Ask yours to help now: www.crisis.org.uk/nooneturnedaway-fb

We are at a critical point for the No One Turned Away campaign and now, more than ever, we need your help.

Thanks to your campaigning so far, on Friday 28 October MPs will have their first debate on the Homelessness Reduction Bill. If successfully passed through Parliament, it will stop homeless people being turned away when they approach their council for help.

This will only happen with your support – please email your MP now: www.crisis.org.uk/nooneturnedaway-fb

Unless 100 or more MPs attend this first debate, parliamentary rules mean that just one MP will be able to kill the bill. And because most MPs work in their constituencies on Fridays, getting more than 100 to stay on at Parliament to attend will be really tough.

But with your help we can do it.

Email your MP and ask them to attend the debate and support this vital bill. If they know their constituents want them to back this then they will be more likely to stay in Westminster.

www.crisis.org.uk/nooneturnedaway-fb

Thank you.

My letter to Ben Bradshaw MP

Dear Ben

I am writing as a constituent and a Crisis campaigner to ask you to attend the second reading debate for the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which is taking place on 28 October.

Crisis is also planning an inspiring event the night before the debate, 27 October, and they will be in touch soon with more details. Please also attend and encourage colleagues to as well.

This private member’s bill is sponsored by Bob Blackman and supported by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, which has recently published a major report on homelessness. Many of the measures the bill contains are Labour Party policy. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmcomloc/40/4002.htm?utm_source=40&utm_medium=fullbullet&utm_campaign=modulereports

Currently, many homeless people are not considered a “priority” under the law, meaning that they are often turned away with little or no help when they approach their local council. As well as the devastating personal impact that this can have, failing to intervene early to prevent and solve homelessness is a poor use of public resources.

Scotland and Wales have already reformed their homelessness legislation, so this is a vital chance for England to catch up. The measures in the bill will have a firm foundation in the lessons from other parts of Britain and in the findings of a panel of experts with backgrounds in local government, charities, academia and housing law, who have recommended reforms (www.crisis.org.uk/expertpanelreport).

It is welcome that the Government has recognised the problems caused by the lack of help available to many homeless people and is “considering options including legislation”. But, as you will be aware, there is a risk that if fewer than 100 MPs attend the debate then the bill could be talked out.

I understand that MPs often use Fridays for constituency work but given the importance of this issue and the real chance it has of success I very much hope you will be able to attend the debate – please do let me know if you intend to do so.

Paul

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One thought on “Crisis | No-one Turned Away campaign for Homelessness Reduction Bill

  1. 12 October 2016
    Response from Ben Bradhaw MP

    Dear Paul

    Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

    You are right that this is a growing and worrying problem. Mainly driven by central Government policy, homelessness across Britain has nearly doubled in the last six years, having fallen by 70% under the previous Labour Government. A combination of housing policy (or lack of it), changes to the social security system, cuts to drug and alcohol services, and other initiatives to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping have all contributed to this situation.

    Without a radical change in central Government policy, or a change of Government, I fear the situation may only get worse. Local authorities and the police are having to pick up the pieces and try to deal with this, also with much reduced resources.

    As you may be aware, in August 2016, the House of Commons’ Communities’ and Local Government Select Committee published a report which recommends a cross-departmental Government strategy on homelessness. The Committee has also called on the Government to support the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which as you know, is a Private Members Bill scheduled to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 28 October 2016.

    The Bill certainly has my support, but Private Members Bills can only become law if they are supported by the Government, and this Tory Government does not support this Bill.

    I have several long-standing constituency commitments in Exeter on 28 October, so it will be difficult for me to be at Westminster, but if the Bill’s sponsors believe it will be be debated and they have enough other MPs committed to being there to force a “closer vote” – preventing the Government or Conservative backbench MPs “killing” the Bill at that stage – I will try and rearrange my diary so I can be there.

    I hope this is helpful, but if you have any further questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

    With very best wishes

    Ben Bradshaw MP

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