Posted on 6th October 2016
Homelessness is one of society’s greatest ills and one which we all encounter in some shape or form as we go about our business on a day to day basis. It’s no hidden fact that the numbers of homeless people in England is rising at an unprecedented rate. Crisis reports that in England, a staggering 114,790 households applied to their local authority for homelessness assistance in 2015/16, which is an 11 per cent rise since 2010/11. In our view, local authorities have, for far too long, been getting away with turning away vulnerable people, trying to make homelessness applications with little or no advice. It is critical that Parliament tackles this social menace head on and without any further delay.
It may not be all doom and gloom however. The impending second reading of the Homelessness Reduction Bill 2016 is due to take place on 28 October 2016. This Bill has not been well publicised but could make a significant difference and is needless to say welcomed with open arms by housing advisors like ourselves. The bill, a brainchild of the Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, is based on the findings of a report from Crisis and offers the opportunity of an overhaul to the legislation governing homelessness.
So, what is the Bill? And more importantly, how could this transform the status quo? Some of the more vital proposals are outlined below:
For this Bill to stand any chance of success, at least 100 MPs need to show up for the debate of the House of Commons on 28 October 2016. To drive up support for the Bill a Lobby will be taking place on 19 October 2016. This is a crucial opportunity for those who have experienced homelessness and others who are supportive of the cause to get behind the Bill. We also cannot emphasise enough that as many people are needed to encourage their respective local MPs to support the Bill.
It is imperative that this laudable Bill receives maximum support to drive it through Parliament. Homelessness law is outdated and not fit for purpose as it continues to fail thousands of homeless people and families every year. It is therefore the responsibility of MPs to back this Bill and attend the second reading on 28 October 2016. The matter of one MP could make or break the Bill. Let’s make this change happen.
Our Social Housing Solicitors are backed by nearly four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0808 250 6017 today.