A Harrow MP will fight to change the law as he presents a homelessness reduction bill to Parliament.
Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East and member of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee, announced in July this year that he would use his Private Member’s Bill to combat rough sleeping across the country.
Mr Blackman will attend Parliament tomorrow (Friday October 28) for a second reading of the bill, and was told that 100 MPs must be present for it to progress.
Mr Blackman who has received the support of homelessness charities Crisis, Shelter and St Mungo’s, said: “The law as it stands means that homeless people who approach their council for help can be turned away to sleep on the street. At a time of record employment, this is deeply disturbing and clearly unacceptable.
“I served in local government for 24 years before becoming an MP and I have seen at first hand the devastation that can be caused by homelessness.
"There are too many ways for people to slide through the net under current arrangements so I hope my bill will receive enough support at its Second Reading on Friday to move forward."
In 2015, a total of 8,096 people were sleeping rough in London.
In April this year, a report written by former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell revealed that more than 1,000 young people in Harrow had no permanent home.
The statistics showed that 852 children were living in temporary accommodation in in 2012, rising to 874 by the end of 2013.
Harrow Council's Conservative group leader Cllr Susan Hall congratulated Mr Blackman, and showed her support by saying his bill will force authorities to help homeless people.
Cllr Hall said: "In Harrow, and across London, homelessness is a huge problem with no quick fix solution.
"Homelessness is traumatic enough for adults but we should ensure, wherever possible, that children are given the best start in life and that most certainly includes a proper home.
"Bob’s Bill will amend the law, forcing local authorities to help people at risk of losing their homes before they are threatened with eviction. The Government has also announced £40 million fund to prevent people becoming homeless and helping those on the streets with the most complex needs.
“This meaningful step could go a long way in preventing rough sleeping. However, homelessness comes in many different forms. Here in Harrow the Council is letting down homeless children.”
Glad that we can help our community; more donations to help the homeless in our area pic.twitter.com/SMgiyyZdVg— Tesco Harrow (@HarrowTesco) October 18, 2016
Thinking of the young people sleeping outside Harrow Civic Centre tonight - hope they make loads of money to help homeless people pic.twitter.com/EHwkqk89cq— Sue Anderson (@XantheAnd) October 25, 2016
Sooo many poor and homeless people in Harrow. Don't remember seeing that before. What's going on.— Zainab (@ZaiNoted) March 23, 2016