Homelessness Reduction Bill becomes law

MP Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill became an Act of Parliament on the 27th April after it was granted Royal Assent. The Act will give councils a legal duty to give people meaningful support to resolve their homelessness and will introduce measures to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.

The government will be providing £61million to local authorities to help meet the costs of providing extra help and advice to homeless people, and people are risk of losing their home.

With a general election campaign underway, housing and homelessness bodies urged politicians to now go further and commit to ending rough sleeping. The number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by 16% in the last year and has more than doubled in the last five.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis said:

“The Homelessness Reduction Act is a crucial step forward in fighting homelessness. For 40 years we’ve had a system that fails too many homeless people by turning them away from help when they need it most. We’d like to thank the peers and MPs from across the political spectrum who came together to back this bill, as well as Government ministers for their leadership.”

“But this Act is by no means a cure-all... the success of the Homelessness Reduction Act shows what can be achieved when the political will exists to tackle the root causes of homelessness. Whoever wins the general election must make ending rough sleeping a top priority once they are elected.”

Stephen Robertson, Chief Executive of The Big Issue Foundation, said: “The cross party support for this crucial bill is really encouraging. In these tough times, with rough sleeping increasing at an alarming rate, the ‘Homelessness Reduction Bill' represents a significant step towards reducing inequalities and exclusion for people who most need support. We should all be grateful to those who have helped to get this bill passed and for the work that will need to be completed to see this through to practical delivery."

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At The Big Issue we believe that rather than funnel ever-decreasing resources at the problems once they’ve grown, we should learn ways to nip these problems in the bud and prevent them from happening in the first place. The prevention strategy is at the heart of The Big Issue thinking, and we’re calling on the political parties who are clamouring for YOUR vote to put it at the heart of theirs.

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