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A major step in reducing homelessness?

July 2nd 2016

© Illisa Stack for the Pavement

A new bill, proposed by the Conservative MP, could transform homeless services and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

The ‘Homeless Reduction Bill’ is being proposed by Bob Blackman, the MP for Harrow East who is also a member of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee.

It is supported by homeless charities including Crisis and St Mungo’s, and will require all councils in England to take action to prevent people from becoming homeless.

Blackman said the bill would be a major step forward in tackling homelessness. “During the CLG Committee’s recent inquiry into homelessness, I heard disturbing first-hand accounts from people who’d been forced to sleep on the streets because they couldn’t get the help they needed,” he added.

“We cannot stand by and allow this to continue. That’s why I’m calling on my fellow MPs to help put an end to this injustice once and for all by supporting my Bill.”

The announcement came on the same day of the release a survey of rough sleeping completed by the Combined Homelessness Information Network (CHAIN) showed a seven per cent increase in the number of rough sleepers.

The London total rose to 8,096 people from 7,581 in 2015. Of those, 5,276 were new rough sleepers, the equivalent of 14 people sleeping rough for the first time every single night. The previous year the total was 6,508.

Dominic Williamson, the St Mungo’s executive director of strategy and policy, said: “Last year saw a 30 per cent increase in people sleeping rough in England. This is completely unacceptable. It is high time for further action to stop this scandal and we urge MPs to get behind this momentous opportunity to improve the support on offer to prevent and relieve homelessness before even more lives are damaged.”

Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes claimed the bill could transform how England tackles homelessness. In Scotland, local authorities have a duty to house everyone who is unintentionally homeless, though in practice this does not always happen.

Sparks added: “It offers an historic opportunity, and if passed, would represent one of the most important developments for homelessness in nearly 40 years.

“Homelessness isn’t inevitable, yet the law as it stands in England means that single homeless people who go to their councils for help can be turned away with no option but to sleep on the streets. This is unacceptable.

“There is a wealth of evidence, opinion and support for a change in the law on homelessness in England, and we urge MPs from all parties to get behind this historic bill.”




New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

Heartbreak Hotel, episode 4.

The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact


The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness


A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

Remembering those who have died in the past year

Safer injection action update

Alexander Withers

Kevin Headley


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484