The Homelessness Reduction Bill has cleared its third and final reading in the House of Lords. This comes as new homelessness statistics show that the number of households in temporary accommodation in England rose by 10% over the course of 2016.
Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said “This is an important moment for tackling homelessness and a major victory for the tens of thousands of campaigners who have joined us in calling for change.
“We’d like to thank the peers and MPs from across the political spectrum who came together to back this bill, as well as Government ministers for their leadership.
“Yet even as we mark this success, we are reminded of why it is so urgently needed. As we have seen from today’s statistics, the number of people in temporary accommodation in England continues to rise. This is the sharp end of the housing crisis, and while this bill is by no means a cure-all, it is a vital part of the solution, and will help to prevent more people from losing their home in the first place.
“We stand ready to work with councils and Government to make the soon-to-be ‘Homelessness Reduction Act’ a success, but we also need action on other fronts if we are to tackle the root causes of homelessness, including measures to build more genuinely affordable homes and a welfare safety-net that works to stop homelessness.”
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has welcomed the news that the Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed its final stage in the House of Lords as new figures reveal the continued scale of the problem.
Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said “The passage of the Homelessness Reduction Bill through its final stage in the House of Lords today is a hugely positive step forward as today’s homelessness statistics reveal the continued scale of the problem.
“It’s particularly alarming, but not surprising, to see the number of households in temporary accommodation increase by 10% compared to last year and 58% since 2010.
“Though the Homelessness Reduction Bill’s progress today is historic, the statistics are a reminder that the bill needs to be part of a robust homelessness strategy if we’re really going to tackle an issue which has steadily worsened.
“That will require significant support for local authorities to deliver, more truly affordable homes and the review of welfare policies which undermine the government’s ambition to create a country which works for everyone.”