Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, has backed a new bill to help tackle homelessness during a crucial vote in parliament.
The bill, proposed by Bob Blackman, MP and supported by homelessness charities including Crisis, could transform the help available to homeless people in Rochdale and right across the country. However, if fewer than 100 MPs had attended the debate, the bill could easily have been blocked.
Homelessness is a major issue in the UK, yet the law as it stands means that homeless people who approach the 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.
In Parliament, Simon Danczuk said: “I thank Bob Blackman for bringing forward this important bill and raising awareness of homelessness across the country. Before entering Parliament, I spent a lot of time focussing on homelessness as a social researcher and working at the Big Issue.”
“During that time, I worked with charities and local authorities and I saw what worked and what did not. Some local authorities went the extra mile to support homeless people, while others failed to do so. I hope the bill will encourage and enable all local authorities to raise standards across the board.”
When Danczuk was asked by Nick Smith MP if he thought additional funds must be made available to help councils to support the good intentions of the bill, he replied: “Absolutely”.
“In the borough of Rochdale, Petrus provides a drop-in support service for vulnerable people who are experiencing homelessness, and people who are at risk of homelessness and marginalisation. The advice and support that the charity gives its users is vital. However, with rough sleeping on the rise, politicians at a national level must also act immediately to help to prevent homelessness.”
“This bill will ensure that fewer individuals slip through the safety net. It will ensure that they receive the support that they need before it’s too late.”
The first stage of the bill was passed unopposed. It will now be passed on to the committee stage where it will be scruitinised by MPs.