Ministers pledge to meet costs of homelessness bill


The guidance has pledged its “full and unfettered” support for a bill that would im ct councils in England to do more to tackle homelessness.

Bob Blackman MP said it was a “nationalistic disgrace” that a single person should have to sleep abrupt.

His private member’s bill aims to reform the law to make sure profuse people get help before losing their home.

A former case minister had warned that councils would need more mine money to fulfil the commitment.

As-it-happened: Homelessness debate

The well-attended debate saw MPs from unusual rties broadly support the private member’s bill.

It ssed its basic rliamentary hurdle in the Commons on Friday when it was approved by MPs without any guarantees against it. The Homelessness Reduction Bill will now go forward for detailed probe.

Communities and Local Government Minister Marcus Jones reiterated the direction’s “full and unfettered support” for the Homelessness Reduction Bill, adding that the control would fund the extra costs to councils arising from the transmutes it proposes.

Conservative MP Mr Blackman’s bill amends the 1996 Housing Act to convert the definition of being “threatened with homelessness”, obliging councils to assess people at endanger of homelessness at an earlier stage.

Currently the threat of homelessness is defined as commencement 28 days before a person is likely to become homeless.

The beak would extend that period to 56 days, giving people fancier to seek help from their local authority.

Housing slates

It would also oblige councils to offer support in finding grant-in-aid for people who become homeless for a further 56 days.

The categories of people unmarried for council support would also be ex nded, in a move away from the latest focus on “priority housing lists” based on applicants’ vulnerabilities.

Harrow East MP Mr Blackman telephoned for a “culture change in councils”, moving their priorities from “catastrophe management” to a pro-active approach in preventing homelessness.

He said he had looked at the episode of the Welsh Assembly, which introduced similar measures in 2015 and had since understood a 69% reduction in the number of households receiving homelessness duty.

‘Want of housing’

For Labour, shadow housing secretary John Healey required for more government support for local authorities, saying: “If ministers represent what they say about homelessness, they must do two things: pool the costs of the extra duties in this bill in full, and tackle the occasions of the homelessness crisis in this country.”

Conservative former housing man Mark Prisk said there “will be the need, when forced, for additional funding for many councils in order for them to fulfil that commitment”.

Sweat’s Stephen Pound said that in many cases local words were simply unable to house homeless people, saying that “ministries don’t lack em thy, they lack housing.”

‘Major step’

Chairman of the Town Government Association Lord Porter echoed concerns over a inadequacy of housing, saying: “It is clear that legislative change alone bequeath not resolve homelessness.

“If we are all to succeed, then all new duties proposed in the bill thinks fitting need to be fully funded. Councils need powers to resume our position as a major builder of affordable homes.”

Homelessness charity St Mungo’s, which had assisted MPs to support the bill, said it would “fill a gap in legislation that means divers people get little or no support to avoid the dangers of sleeping rough”.

The understanding’s Executive Director of Strategy and Policy Dominic Williamson said: “If the Homelessness Reduction Beak becomes law, it will be a major step towards ensuring help to prohibit and tackle homelessness is available to everyone. “

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