Prevention is better than cure


Homelessness   – what images does this word bring up in your mind? What do you associate with this term?  For many people there will be a range of emotions and thoughts from `no one deserves to be living on the street on this day and age` to `a lot of people choose to live on the street and so there is no helping them`. These were responses at my workplace when they heard about my work with the homeless and no doubt are very common. Please leave your views in the comment section below.

In October (Friday 28th) MPs have an opportunity to change the situation for thousands of homeless people across the country. Bob Blackman (Con MP) has put forward a private members bill or the Homelessness Reduction Bill This has support from MPs from all parties and backing from the Communities and Local goverment department and also Crisis who have launched the #Nooneturnedaway campaign. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the last major piece of homelessness legislation(there was one in 1996 but it didnt have as big an impact as the 1977 Housing (Homeless Person) bill) which was also a private members bill. Indeed the Commons CLG report claimed this `Bill is the best opportunity since 1977 to reduce homelessness`.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has been written to make help more accessible and to have fewer people turned away. Bob Blackman MP says `At the moment there is no early intervention and too many people are turned away.  For many local authorities it is just a tick box activity and this bill will ensure that there is a statutory requirement to give help and advice BEFORE people are homeless. Hopefully this will prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.`   This bill will change the definition of those threatened with homelessness from 28 days to 56 days which will give councils more time to work with people to find the best solution and amongst other things will ensure that everyone has a personal housing plan in place which will make things so much clearer for those applying. It will also require councils to issue more Section 184 notices which explains the authorities decisions in writing as to why they were accepted/rejected and what their next steps will be. This will remove some of the anxiety and muddiness amongst the current procedure. More details can be found here

This bill is due for its second reading and is so important in the world of homelessness. Unfortunately unless 100 MPs are present then it may not make it past it 2nd reading. So far 53 MPs have agreed to attend and so I am asking that you write to your local MP(a template from Crisis is here) and ask them if they will be attending. Please let me know at their answer even if it is a No. I am writing to my local MP and will publish his response on this blog.

List of MPs that have so far said yes they will attend*

Bob Blackman (author of the Bill)     Conservative

Karen Thewliss (co sponsoring the Bill)   SNP

Diane Abbott                                    Labour

Debbie Abrams                                Labour

Lucy Allan                                          Conservative

Heidi Alexander                              Labour

Jon Ashworth                                    Labour

Steve Baker                                       Conservative

Hilary Benn                                      Labour

Clive Betts                                         Labour

James berry                                       Conservative

Thomas Brake                                  Lib Dem

Lyn Brown                                         Labour

Richard Benyon                               Conservative

Karen Buck                                        Labour    

Richard Burden                                Labour

Dawn Butler                                      Labour

David Burrowes                                Conservative

Ruth Cadbury                                    Labour

Alex Chalk                                          Conservative

Geoffrey Clifton Brown                 Conservative

Neil Coyle                                           Labour

Jon Cryer                                            Labour

Nick Dakin                                         Labour

Thangam Debbonaire                    Labour

Michele Donelan                              Conservative

Peter Dowd                                        Labour

Jack Dromey                                      Labour

Flick Drummond                              Conservative

Maria Eagle                                        Labour

Tim Farron                                         Lib Dem

Jim Fitzpatrick                                  Labour

Colleen Fletcher                               Labour

Kevin Foster                                      Conservative

Vicky Foxcroft                                  Labour

Richard Fuller                                   Conservative

Gill Furniss                                         Labour

Roger Godsiff                                    Labour

Zac Goldsmith                                  Conservative

Louise Haigh                                     Labour

Rebecca Harris                                 Conservative

Harriet Harman                               Labour

Helen Hayes                                      Labour

Sue Hayman                                      Labour

Kate Hoey                                           Labour

Susan Elan Jones                             Labour

Helen Jones                                       Labour

Marcus Jones                                     Conservative

Julian Knight                                     Conservative

Peter Kyle                                           Labour

Ian Lavery                                          Labour

Ivan Lewis                                          Labour

Caroline Lucas                                   Green

Tania Mathias                                   Conservative

David Mackintosh                            Conservative

Khalid mahmood                              Labour

Shabana Mahmood                          Labour

Steve McCabe                                    Labour

Kerry McCarthy                                Labour

Siobhan Mcdonagh                          Labour

Seema Malholtra                              Labour

Paul Monaghan                                 SNP

Graham Morris                                  Labour

Melanie Onn                                      Labour

Kate Osamer                                      Labour

Jess Philips                                         Labour

Teresa Pearce                                    Labour

Matt Pennycook                               Labour

Toby Perkins                                      Labour     

Steven Pound                                    Labour

Mark Prisk                                          Conservative

Will Quince                                         Conservative

Steve Reed                                          Labour

Jon Reynolds                                      Labour

Geoffrey Robertson                         Labour

Mary Robinson                                  Conservative

Tulip Sadiq                                          Labour

Paul Scully                                          Conservative

Jim Shannon                                      DUP

Barry Sheerman                               Labour

Andy Slaughter                                 Labour

Royston smith                                   Conservative

Owen Smith                                       Labour

Andrew Smith                                   Labour

Keir Starmer                                      Labour

Mark Tami                                          Labour

Stephen Timms                                 Labour

Owen Thompson                               SNP

Michael Tomlinson                           Conservative

Andrew Turner

Karl Turner                                         Labour

Stephen Twigg                                   Labour

Chuka Umunna                                 Labour

Robin Walker                                     Conservative

Catherine West                                 Labour

David Winnick                                   Labour

Mike Wood                                          Conservative

William Wragg                                   Conservative

101 so far

 John Cruddas, Sir Gerald Kaufman and Sarah Champion (all Labour)  will possibly be attending

MPs who wont be attending*

Sharon Hodgson                               Labour

Stewart Jackson                               Conservatives

Bob Stewart                                       Conservative

Ben Bradshaw                                    Labour

Desmond Swayne                           Conservative

Ranil Jayavardena                          Conservative

Tom Hayes                                         Conservative

Maria Caulfield                                 Conservative (she did say she would vote for the bill in the Commons though)

Luciana Berger                                 Labour

Cat Smith                                           Labour

Johnny Mercer                                  Conservative

Ben Wallace                                       Conservative

John Hayes                                         Conservative

Graham Stuart                                  Conservative

Gordon Henderson                          Conservative

Alex Cunningham                           Labour  (he said he would support the bill though)

Kirsty Blackman                              SNP (as homelessness is a devolved issue)

Frank Field                                        Labour (he did say he has asked to be named as a supporter)

David Amess                                     Conservative

Sarah Ellman                                    Labour (she did comment how she supports Crisis and recognises the importance of this issue but that Friday is the only day she can see constituents)

24 including the three possible attendees.

MPs who responded but didnt say either way about their attendance

James Duddridge               (MY MP)     

Ben Howlett

Caroline Ansell

Theresa Villiers

David T C Davies

Jacob Rees Mogg

Andrew Turner

Alok Sharma

Victoria Prentis

Sam Gyimah

Adam Afriyie

Angela Eagle (she has said she will be following the bill closely)

Martyn Day

14 in total

* this list will be amended when MPs and more info arises.

This means that there over 450 MPs who havent yet responded!!






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