It was a great feeling to watch the Homelessness Reduction Bill get nodded through without opposition to the second stage last week.
The Bill has a number of key provisions that will see a duty placed on local councils. The proposal is to support people at risk, enabling them to be able to secure accommodation before they are threatened with homelessness. Those who do find themselves homeless will be supported for 56 days, during which time help will be offered to find accommodation. In addition, the Bill will also ensure that other local services refer those who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless to the council's housing teams.
I'm fully behind the Bill and whilst there are many more stages of the Parliamentary process to go, I am pleased that this has progressed unopposed and that the government has promised to provide new funding for its implementation once it has gained Royal Assent.
In particular the Bill will address shortcomings in current legislation whereby single homeless people are often turned away because they are not considered a priority. There is still a lot to be done to address homelessness, both nationally and locally in MK, but this Bill will be another step in the right direction.