Richard Benyon, Member of Parliament for Newbury, spoke in support of the Homelessness reduction Bill on Friday 28th October.
The Bill was a Private Members Bill introduced by Bob Blackman MP, which sought to aid those single homeless people who currently do not qualify for housing. The Bill would ensure that all those who are ‘at risk’ of becoming homeless would be eligible for support from their local authority.
Speaking in the debate, Mr Benyon said that the Bill will help “tackle what is one of the most shaming features of modern society.”
“Homeless cases are some of the most troubling we see in our surgeries because they bring with them many overlapping aspects of human misery.”
The Government also signaled its support for the Bill. In summing up, Marcus Jones (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government) said: “this Government are committed to preventing homelessness. The number of people found to be homeless is down by 58% from the 2003-04 peak, but the Government remain absolutely clear that one person without a home is one too many.”
“I am honoured and very proud to say that the Government will give their full support to this Bill.”
In his speech, Mr Benyon praised the work of homeless charities based in Newbury.
He said: “We are assisted in our work as Members of Parliament by fantastic organisations in our constituencies, of which I will list two: Loose Ends and Two Saints, a hostel.”
My Benyon also spoke of the work undertaken by “the DePaul Nightstop UK service provides free, safe, secure emergency accommodation for single young people, predominantly aged between 16 and 25. The homes are vetted and have trained volunteer hosts. That is an extraordinary service which we could roll out across our constituencies. A web-based solution could deal with many of the problems that have been raised.”
The Homelessness Reduction Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons with unanimous support from all Parties. It will now progress to committee stage.