I support the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which would make a huge change to homelessness law, both through the emphasis it places on prevention and through the changes that it imposes on local authorities to assist non-priority groups, particularly single people, in finding accommodation.
The Bill passed its Second Reading stage in October and is now being considered at Committee Stage. There are two tests the government must now pass: first, to fund the costs of the new legal duties that fall on hard-pressed councils in full; and secondly, to urgently tackle the causes of the growing homelessness crisis in this country.
The government is right to support this cross-party Bill, but is still responsible for the decisions taken in the last six years that have led to the rise in homelessness we have seen locally and across the country. Support for the Homelessness Reduction Bill must be the first step toward a wider government rethink and a proper long-term strategy to reverse rising homelessness.