Crisis | Homelessness Reduction Bill

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No One Turned Away is calling for every homeless person who approaches their council to get the help they need.

Homeless people in England can be turned away with little or no help by councils if they are not considered a ‘priority’, even though they have nowhere else to stay.

Now Conservative MP Bob Blackman has tabled a Homelessness Reduction Bill to improve the support that homeless people receive. But we need the support of MPs for this to become law.

We urgently need your help to take part in a mass lobby of MPs in Westminster on Wednesday 19 October. It’s a chance to ask your MP in person to back the bill. Sign up to attend.

Even if you can’t attend the mass lobby, you can still ask your MP to take action.

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Ask your MP to be there

Your MP has not said they’ll be there, so below is a message for you to send that asks them to attend.

Dear Ben Bradshaw

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 the morning of 28 October.

A draft version of the bill has now been published, many of the measures it contains are Labour Party policy.

This private member’s bill is sponsored by Bob Blackman and supported by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, who are scrutinising the draft. The select committee has recently published a major report on homelessness.

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).

Yours sincerely

Paul Bull

Further reading:
Crisis: No One Turned Away 

Crisis: No One Turned Away – Executive Summary

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One thought on “Crisis | Homelessness Reduction Bill

  1. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for your recent email about 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 will 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 tomorrow.

    Thanks to pressure from me and other Labour MPs, the Government announced this week that it had changed its mind and would support the Bill. But because it is a Private Members Bill, Parliament’s ridiculous procedures mean it could still be blocked by back-bench Conservative MPs “talking it out”. This can be prevented if at least 100 MPs are present to vote for a “closure motion”. I have been assured by the Bill’s sponsors that they are confident that more than 100 of us have committed to attend Parliament tomorrow, so I have rearranged my diary so that I can be at Parliament to support the Bill and any closure motion.

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

    Best wishes,

    Ben Bradshaw MP

    Like

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