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The Homelessness Reduction Bill is a private member’s bill introduced by Bob Blackman (Conservative MP for Harrow East). It has completed all its stages in the House of Commons and received first reading in the House of Lords on 30 January 2017. The Bill is scheduled to have its second reading on 24 February 2017. This briefing provides a short overview of the contents of the Bill, its progress through the House of Commons and external commentary.   

The Bill aims to refocus local authority efforts on the prevention of homelessness. It places duties on local housing authorities to intervene at earlier stages in order to prevent homelessness and to take reasonable steps to help those who become homeless to secure accommodation. The Bill also requires local housing authorities to provide new homelessness services to people in their area, expanding on the categories of people they are required to help find accommodation.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), local authorities accepted 14,930 households as being statutorily homeless between 1 July and 30 September 2016. This represented a fall of one percent on the previous quarter but up two percent on the same quarter of last year. The ONS also report that the total number of households in temporary accommodation as of 30 September 2016 was 74,630, representing a 55 percent increase on the low of 48,010 on 31 December 2010.

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