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COMMENT: MPs have a huge opportunity to reverse shocking homelessness figures

Posted on: 27th January 2017

Today, the Homelessness Reduction Bill reaches report stage in Parliament giving MPs the opportunity to table any amendments to the Bill.

Daniel Fitzpatrick, a lawyer dedicated to helping individuals facing homelessness at London law firm, Hodge Jones & Allen, says:

“MPs have a huge opportunity to reverse the shocking homelessness figures that were released this week. It is essential that this Bill is put through and becomes legislation as soon as possible.

“In order to reduce the number of homeless we need preventative assistance for those who are at risk of losing their home. Many people who suddenly find themselves facing homelessness often just require temporary assistance.

“Currently, those facing homelessness are only ever assisted at the very last minute, which often sees families turning up at councils with their belongings. The proposed Bill provides for a much more proactive approach to assisting people threatened with losing their home.

“Under the current law s175 Housing Act 1996 prescribes that a person is threatened with homelessness if it is likely that he or she will become homeless within 28 days. The Bill extends this period to 56 days to enable local authorities to respond to potential homelessness at an early stage and also to provide meaningful assistance such as mediation with the landlord, payments by way of grant or loan, debt management support, or, in some cases, an offer of accommodation. There will be a duty to provide assistance to prevent homelessness for ALL eligible applicants.”

Ends

Notes for Editors

Hodge Jones and Allen

  • Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen and managing partner is Vidisha Joshi.
  • For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
  • The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
  • Co-founder Patrick Allen is still at the helm of the firm he co-founded in 1977.
  • In 2016 the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.

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