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Tag Archives: Homelessness

£263 million to help local authorities tackle homelessness

In 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force, representing the most ambitious reform to homelessness legislation in decades. The Act put new duties on local authorities to take reasonable steps to prevent or relieve a person’s homelessness. The Government has committed to eliminating rough sleeping in the term of this parliament. In December the Government announced the allocation of £263 million in funding to local authorities designed to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness. I was pleased […]

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Conservatives are committed to reducing homelessness

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Labour opponents list rising homelessness in their allegations against Conservatives. The truth is that homelessness has risen in the last seven years but to nowhere near its peak under Labour. FullFact.org have made available an analysis here and, fact checking PMQs here, they write: Statutory homelessness is much more than 10% below the peak reached under Labour, as our chart above suggests. New cases are running 57% below the level of 2003/04, when 135,000 households were accepted by councils as entitled […]

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Homelessness Reduction Bill Second Reading

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During the second reading of Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill in Parliament on the 28th October, I asked Mr. Blackman the following question: I’m here to support my Honourable friend in his excellent Bill today. I just observe that London boroughs seeking temporary accommodation is a factor which considerably disrupts the housing in Wycombe for my constituency. Will he agree with me that we need much more affordable homes both to buy and to rent everywhere, and especially in London. […]

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One week until the Wycombe Homeless Connection Big Sleepout 2014

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Wycombe Homeless Connection is a community project of Wycombe churches, serving around 300 single adult homeless or vulnerably housed individuals each year. Through Speen Church, I have been a volunteer since before I was a candidate. I previously worked with the homeless during my MSc in Oxford. I spoke about the project in Parliament last year. Too many people are trapped in cycles of addiction, debt, family breakdown, worklessness and educational failure. Too often, one or more of these factors will […]

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Wycombe Homeless Big Sleepout 2014

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As the Centre for Social Justice demonstrated in 2006, too many people are trapped in cycles of addiction, debt, family breakdown, worklessness and educational failure. Too often, one or more of these factors will lead people onto the streets, homeless. Please join me in supporting the great work of Wycombe Homeless Connection as they go about helping individuals rebuild their lives. I’ll be sleeping on the street on 15 November: please sponsor me here: bit.ly/BakerSleepout2014.

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Social action: manning the local night shelter

I will be manning our local night shelter between January and March. Homelessness is a subject close to my heart. It is a scandal that — in this age and with such levels of spending on social security — people are forced to sleep rough. It is a scandal we should not tolerate.

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Housing: the mess we are in. Three articles from the FT today.

“MPs urge scrapping of tax on empty property”: Gordon Brown is coming under pressure from his own backbenchers to scrap a tax on empty property, which is blamed for the demolition of buildings that developers cannot sell. read more | digg story “Rents hit by surge in supply of homes”: Residential rents fell for the first time since April 2003 in the three months to October as the supply of properties to let surged, according to the latest survey from […]

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“A victim of the State”

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A young homeless woman asked me to buy a Big Issue just outside the conference area and then asked me, “If you get in, what are you going to do about poverty in this county? The Government seems very keen to get in with everyone else, but what are you going to do in this country?” Happily, I was able to answer, but that’s not the point of the post. She looked unblinkingly at me and said, “I’m a victim […]

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Helping the homeless, the bureaucratic way.

There’s a homeless man I see every day, who sleeps in a subway. He’s pleasant and harmless. He used to be a promising chef apparently. People choose to give him money: he never asks. He keeps himself smart and clean, thanks to a nearby centre that opens in the week, during the day. He’s handing out Christmas cards to people who have helped him this year. He was arrested this week for begging. He spent the night in the cells […]

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