It’s been hailed as a potential game-changer for homelessness provision in Britain. Now it’s been confirmed that the groundbreaking Homelessness Reduction Act will commence from April next year, with £61million government funding behind the bill.
Councils will use the funding boost to pay for the series of new responsibilities they must meet under the act. The bill – which became an official act of parliament in April – places a legal duty on councils to give people meaningful support to try to resolve their homelessness, as well as introducing measures to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.
In a letter to councils, homelessness minister Marcus Jones MP confirmed that the first payment can be expected in winter.
This news comes in the wake of a stark and shocking warning that homelessness is expected to more than double by 2041. Research, carried out by Heriot-Watt University for Crisis, found that the number of homeless people in Britain could reach 575,000 by 2041 – up from 236,000 last year.
I believe this bill could present a bit of a sea change in how we deal with problems
Earlier this year, Big Issue founder John Bird welcomed the bill – which was first introduced by Conservative backbench MP Bob Blackman – saying it could “present a bit of a sea change” in tackling Britain’s homelessness crisis.
— John Bird (@johnbirdswords) April 27, 2017