Mid Derbyshire MP backs new law to tackle homelessness

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Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has given her support to the Homelessness Reduction Bill as it passed the report stage in the Commons on Friday, January 27.

The Bill, proposed by Bob Blackman MP and backed by housing charities such as Crisis, could transform the help available to homeless people in Mid Derbyshire and right across the country.

Mrs Latham said: “I’m proud to have played my part in getting this much needed reform closer to being law.

“Nobody should be forced to sleep rough because they can’t get the help they need and I know this is something that constituents in Mid Derbyshire feel strongly about.”

She added: “The efforts residents made to help the homeless over Christmas was heart-warming, and will benefit our community.”

Statistically, the full extent of the problem is unknown but, according to one report, local authorities’ estimate 4,134 people slept rough in England on a given night in autumn 2016.

That is a rise of 16 per cent on 2015 and the sixth year in a row the figure has grown.

As it stands, homeless people who approach their council for help can be turned away to sleep on the street if services are unable to accommodate them.

If passed, the new law would impose a duty on councils to help prevent people from losing their home in the first place and make sure all homeless people get help when they need it.

The bill has the backing of the Government and all major British political parties, although concerns remain that without adequate guaranteed funding it will be difficult to implement.

The Bill is now passing through the House of Lords.