An end to homelessness

on .

By the time a homeless person appears in my surgery or at the reception desk at my local authority, this terrible moment of crisis invariably reflects many overlapping layers of human misery. There might have been a bereavement, an illness, injury or relationship breakdown, a tenancy might have come to an end either naturally or through an inability to pay the rent, they might be care leavers or suffering from mental health issues. But whatever the cause – or causes - homelessness remains one of the most shaming features of modern society. How can the fifth-largest economy in the world still be unable to house its citizens?

This was the point of Bob Blackman’s Private Members Bill which was debated in the House of Commons last week and why so many MPs of all parties turned up to vote unanimously in its favour. As he said, this will not be a ‘magic bullet’ that will clear the streets of homeless people overnight but what it will do is introduce a long-term cultural change which, over time, will bring about a different way of working among local authorities that will stop people from getting into the terrible position of being homeless in the first place.

In this area we are fortunate to have fantastic organisations such as Loose Ends and Two Saints which offer support and shelter to those on the streets. I am also involved with the Centre for Social Justice which is looking at the success of homelessness projects in the US and Finland to see how that could translate back here. Another excellent provision is the Nightstop UK service provided by the charity De Paul which gives free, safe, emergency accommodation for single young people in carefully vetted volunteers’ homes.

As the Minister said in the debate, the number of homeless has fallen by a commendable 58% from its peak in 2003-4. However, it is still a reality for too many. As this Bill now goes through to committee stage, we need to keep our focus on the fact that one person without a home is one too many.

Powered by Bullraider.com

Latest Blogs

Snap election

Well I didn’t see that coming. But I applaud the Prime Minister for calling an election. I understand her desire to have her own mandate for the coming years. In addition, there is a convention in Parliament that prevents the unelected House of Lords from voting down legislation if it is in a Party’s manifesto. This will be crucial for the Prime Minister with all the measures she will be wanting to take through Parliament in the coming years...

Twits

I like Twitter. It is a useful way or keeping in touch with local and national issues. I have around 12,400 followers. It is hard to imagine any other platform that would allow me the chance to communicate with a crowd of that size.

There is a big "but" here...

Continue reading...

Latest Tweets

Richard Benyon

RT @_richardblack: Given 20% staff cut in FCO since 2010, proportion working on climate change 2x higher now than when Blair made it a prio…

by Richard Benyon

Richard Benyon

Just met son of Bandsman Keith Powell, one of the Green Jacket band murdered by the IRA in Regents Park. The families deserve justice

by Richard Benyon

More Information

Richard Benyon was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Newbury on 7 May 2015, with an increased majority of 26,368. Richard won 61 per cent of the vote share.

 

 

If you would like to join the Conservative Party or just find out more, please visit West Berkshire Conservative Association’s website http://www.wbca.org.uk/membership or alternatively e-mail office@wbca.org.uk.

Subscribe

Richard sends out regular e-newsletters to constituents. If you would like to be added to this list, please subscribe here.
Subscribe to all our newsletters