Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Homelessness Reduction Bill becomes law

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Homelessness Reduction Bill becomes law

27th April 2017
Today the Homelessness Reduction Bill has become an Act of Parliament after it was granted Royal Assent.

The Act will give councils a legal duty to give people meaningful support to resolve their homelessness and will introduce measures to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.

More than a quarter of a million people are homeless in England, and in London alone, an average of 1 in 51 people are homeless. Rough sleeping in England has also risen by 16% in the last year, and has more than doubled in the last five.

Linda Maytum-Wilson, Acting Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House, said:

“The Homelessness Reduction Act has come at a time when we are seeing homelessness dramatically increase each year in the UK. It represents the most significant reform to homelessness legislation in forty years, and will provide those experiencing or at risk of homelessness with the support they need.

“This is a major victory for all involved in campaigning for this change, which will prevent many more people from losing their homes. We’d like to thank the individuals, charities, peers, MPs and Government ministers who came together to back this bill.”

Kelly Abnett, a previously homeless person who now lives at Caritas Anchor House, said:

“I’m delighted that the government have torn up the rules that stopped councils from housing or supporting people that were not classed as a ‘priority’.

“When my landlord increased my rent by £240 a month, I could no longer afford to stay in the property. I took my eviction letter to the local housing office but was told that I should come back when I am physically homeless, but even then I was told that I was not vulnerable enough for help.

“I really struggled with going from having a secure home to, all of a sudden, nothing but a bag of belongings. I spent three months sofa-surfing before moving into Caritas Anchor House who are supporting me to eventually move-on to independent accommodation - this place has saved my life and things are finally on the up again.”

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