Thank you for contacting me about the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which I fully support.
I wish to congratulate my Conservative colleague, Bob Blackman, with the support of the Government, in bringing this Bill to Parliament. The Bill will provide significant support to those who are about to or have already been made homeless. I was very pleased to be able to support Bob and vote for his bill just a few weeks ago.
As you may be aware, the Bill will place a new duty on councils to support those who are homeless. Councils will be required to help those threatened with homelessness or who are already homeless find a home. I am encouraged that the Government will provide councils with £61 million to help them deliver the new duties under the Bill, and I look forward to it becoming law.
Every homeless case is a tragedy, and I am glad that the Government is showing a commitment to tackling it. In December last year, the Government provided a £50 million funding boost for trailblazing new homelessness prevention schemes across the country, including targeted support for those at risk of rough sleeping.
This is in addition to central funding to tackle homelessness being increased to £149 million over the next four years, and homelessness prevention funding for local authorities being protected at £315 million by 2019-20. The Government is also providing £100 million for at least 2,000 low cost accommodation places, for rough sleepers leaving hostel accommodation and domestic abuse victims and their families moving on from refuges.
I was able to attend the final stages of the Bill in the House of Commons, and I am pleased the Bill has passed, and will now progress through the House of Lords.