Last updated:2023-09-18
Homelessness bill gets government support
A private members’ bill seeking to change the law on homelessness has received government backing. Tory MP Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill was due to receive its second reading, as Legal Action went to press, on 28 October. Leading housing law silk and LAG author Andrew Arden QC welcomed the bill, saying that unless it becomes law ‘we will not see a reduction in the unacceptable sight of people living in doorways and parks, or under bridges and flyovers’.
The bill is intended to amend the Housing Act 1996, by removing from local authorities’ duty to house people the condition that they are in priority need (first introduced in the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977). Arden believes that ‘a combination of subjective decision-making by local authorities and the massive financial pressures they are under means that many of the vulnerable who were plainly intended to benefit [from the original provisions] have been shut out of support’.