Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford, attended the Second Reading of the Homelessness Reduction Bill in Parliament today, which was passed by the House of Commons with Government support. The Bill will ensure that local authorities provide homelessness services to all those affected, not just those who are protected under existing legislation. It will also legally require local authorities to introduce measures to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

Richard backed the Bill to reduce homelessness, continuing his work with national and local homeless charities such as the King’s Arms Project in Bedford.

Speaking from the House for Commons, Richard said: “This Bill aims to prevent people from losing their homes through early intervention and cross agency support and helps those who are not currently considered a priority under current legislation. At the moment, if you don’t have dependent children or you can’t prove that you are particularly vulnerable, your local authority has no legal obligation to offer you help.”

The Bill places a prevention duty on local authorities to help anyone who is eligible and at risk of homelessness to secure accommodation, 56 days before they are threatened with homelessness regardless of their priority need status. It also creates a new duty for councils to provide those who find themselves homeless with support for a further period of 56 days to help to secure accommodation. The Bill will also ensure that other local services refer those either homeless or at risk of being homeless to local authority housing teams.

The passing of the Bill, proposed by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, follows a Government commitment to provide a £40 million fund to prevent homelessness and help those on the streets with the most complex needs.

7 Responses to Richard Fuller MP Hails Homelessness Reduction Bill passing first stage in Parliament

  • Congratulations Richard. I consider any society that does not care for its most vulnerable citizens is not fit to call itself a civilised society. I hope and pray that the Bill will be passed and we will see less or no homeless people on our streets. Even dogs and cats are given shelter, yet some of our most vulnerable human brothers and sisters, for whatever reason, are made to sleep out-of-doors, even in the coldest weather.

  • Thank you Richard for supporting this bill at it’s first reading. It’s not rocket science to widen the existing non-sensically narrow perameters relating to this issue, to provide a more complete support structure for those at risk of losing their home or are homeless.

  • I do hope that this Bill is passed and comes into operation – it is distressing to see homeless people sleeping in empty shop doorways in Bedford, especially as the nights are starting to get colder and more damp. Over all, Bedford is a relatively wealthy town and provision should be made for people who have ended up in this situation.

  • Clearly it is right to ensure that no-one ever needs to sleep rough, and especially not in winter. A safe, clean, warm bed is everyone’s basic entitlement; but a “home” is surely much more than this, and very much more expensive? It is at least exclusive use of a minmal bedsittingroom, with cooking and washing facilities – the last two may be on a shared basis,with a permanence of at least the length of a lease – say six months?

    HOW, EXACTLY, IS ALL THIS TO BE PAID FOR?

    And whatabout those people whose “habits, manner and mode of life” make them objectionable to anyone who has to share any sort of facilities with them ?- (often this is the reason for their homelessness in the first place) -yet the only sanction effective with persistent offenders is to kick them out, and render them homeless – which will no longer be allowable.

    So this too-liberal provision will make some innocent people suffer really seriously from being forced to live long-term alongside people of major anti-social habits….

    Plus there is currently a “housing crisis” which will be exacerbated by many more people suddenly becoming “entitled to homes” – how will that be dealt with, pray?

    THE BILL NEEDS RETHINKING AND REDRAFTING to ensure absolute entitlement to safe, warm,clean, overnight accommodation for everyone; every night; but”homes” – places of privacy and long-term security, only for people whose occupancy is unlikely to cause serious distress to their neighbours.

    And the question needs to be answered, who pays ?( Taxpayers, quite obviously, but out of which squeezed pocket?)

    But, yes, what a lovely idea!

  • Well done, Richard, for supporting this bill. I appreciate that the matter of “rough-sleepers” is a sub-section of this matter but as I walk through the town centre and see the small number of young men begging on the streets I am ashamed for Bedford. Rough-sleeping is a very small, finite problem that could be solved by an equally small investment. Emmaus, Prebend Street Day Centre and The Kings Arms do a splendid job as do the other, volunteer agencies. Surely provision can be made for these desperate souls so that we, in Bedford, can make the bold statement that there is no need for people to sleep rough and beg on the streets of our town.

  • So, Crystal.
    I’m a twice university educated ex army officer who is homeless. By your own rules, do I deserve a home?

  • Thank you Mr Fuller for supporting, and may you support it further until hopefully it is an Act of Parliament.
    Crystal, you obviously think you are full of compassion, but it is obvious that you delude yourself by your comments when you help further to stigmatise all homeless people. To you it all about money and who is judge worthy to receive the help they deserve. I used to work with and on behalf of homeless people. ANYONE can become homeless given the ‘right’ set of human circumstances, same as being mentally ill, or being diagnosed with cancer.

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