Recently I backed a new bill to help tackle homelessness during a crucial vote in parliament. I joined MPs from all parties in backing the Homelessness Reduction Bill at its second reading, helping to bring the bill one step closer to becoming law.
Proposed by Bob Blackman MP and supported by homelessness charities including Crisis, the bill could transform the help available to homeless people in Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park, and right across the country.
Private Members Bills struggle in terms of success as it requires 100 MPs or more to attend a Friday debate, when most are usually back in their constituencies, but I am pleased that this bill got the support it needed.
The law as it stands means that homeless people who approach their council for help can be turned away to sleep on the street. If passed, the new law would help to prevent people from losing their home in the first place and make sure all homeless people can get help when they need it, whilst continuing to protect families with children from homelessness.
The bill has the backing of the Government, the opposition and the Communities and Local Government Select Committee following an in-depth inquiry.
This is about basic social justice. Nobody should be forced to sleep rough because they can’t get the help they need, not in Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park, nor anywhere else. I’ve personally heard from local constituents who were unable to get help when they became homeless. It’s time we took action. We need to make sure that anyone facing homelessness can get help, ideally before they actually lose their home. That’s why I’m backing the Homelessness Reduction Bill put forward by Bob Blackman MP, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the house to offer their support as it moves through parliament.
Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said: “This is a landmark moment, and we’d like to thank Paul Scully for backing this unique bill. We still have a long way to go before it becomes law, but we’ll be there every step of the way to help make sure it happens.
“We have the momentum and we have the cross party consensus, and today’s success shows what can be done when people come together to help tackle homelessness. Yet this is no time for complacency. We must continue to build on what we’ve achieved today, both to get the bill through parliament and to make it work for homeless people if and when it finally becomes law.”