Victoria welcomes progress of Homelessness Reduction Bill

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, has welcomed the progress of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 27 January. The Bill, which seeks to reduce and prevent homelessness, can now proceed to the House of Lords after receiving cross-party backing in the Commons.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill aims to reduce homelessness by placing extra duties on councils to intervene at an earlier stage with households at risk of homelessness. It also provides for more detailed advice on housing options for those facing problems, and makes it easier for homeless applicants to appeal a decision against them.

Speaking in the debate on Friday, Victoria made reference to the successful steps taken by Cherwell District Council and local charities like Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP) and the Beacon Centre to reduce rough sleeping in North Oxfordshire by 20%. Victoria, who sits on the Justice Select Committee, also spoke about the importance of dealing with the link between imprisonment and homelessness.

Commenting after the Commons’ vote on Friday, Victoria said, “The cross-party support from MPs makes it clear that there is a real commitment to change how we deal with homelessness in this country. This Bill does not have all the answers, but if it becomes law it will go a long way to ensuring fewer people in Oxfordshire and elsewhere become homeless. I pay tribute to my colleague Bob Blackman MP, as well as all those on the Bill’s Committee who have worked so hard to get the legislation to where it is now”.

I welcome the Bill’s provisions to end the post code lottery service for those facing homelessness. A change in the law will also enable brilliant local charities like Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP) to have more time to help people, rather than fight the system.”

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has received the backing of the Government, which has committed funding so that the law’s provisions can be implemented. It will now go to the House of Lords for consideration.

The full text of Victoria’s speech in the Commons can be found here.