Homelessness Reduction Bill

The briefing is based on the draft Homelessness Reduction Bill available online, published in advance of a Bill for Second Reading expected later in October 2016. 

Key points

  • Councils want to end homelessness focusing on prevention, and support the overall intention of the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Unfortunately it is important to recognise that, as it stands, the Bill is unlikely to achieve its objectives. It focuses on extensive new statutory duties for councils to resolve the symptoms of homelessness without addressing the causes that cannot be solved by councils alone.
  • Understanding and resolving homelessness is challenging and complex, with circumstances varying between places and individuals. We want to help make the Bill workable so that councils can deliver the best possible outcomes for their communities. In our view there are five key proposals needing further consideration to ensure that they achieve their aims:
  • 56 day accommodation duty for those with nowhere safe to stay regardless of whether or not they have priority need (clause 9, amendment 192A) – There is an insufficient supply of suitable accommodation to discharge this duty, and attempts to do so rely on sourcing expensive temporary accommodation which risks detracting from prevention work. The same duty was considered by Wales but rejected for this reason and others. In our view it will be important to pursue a non-legislative approach, such as third sector agencies being commissioned to source accommodation for homeless applicants based on local need.

Read the full briefing
Homelessness Reduction Bill, October 2016

13 December 2016