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Expert group proposes new law so all homeless people can get help

An expert panel of council members, lawyers and housing experts has published its final proposals for a new English law aimed at making sure all homeless people can get the help they need.

Drawing on the findings, Crisis is calling on the government to step up and take action.

The group, convened by Crisis and chaired by Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick of Heriot-Watt University, has been looking at options to expand the help councils provide to homeless people. The final report makes detailed recommendations for a new law requiring councils to prevent more people from becoming homeless in the first place.

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As it stands, the law in England means that homeless people who ask their councils for help are often turned away with little or no help and at worst end up sleeping on the streets. If adopted, the new law could be one of the most important developments for tackling homelessness in nearly 40 years.

The Government has made positive steps in recent months, and Crisis is calling on minsters to follow through on their commitment to look at legal options by bringing forward new legislation so that all homeless people can get the help they need.

FULL REPORT

Panel members:

·         (Chair) Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot-Watt University

·         David Orr, National Housing Federation

·         Jacqui McCluskey, Homeless Link

·         Dominic Williamson, St Mungo’s Broadway

·         Anna Whalen, St Basils

·         Matt Downie, Crisis

·         Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing

·         John Gallagher, Shelter

·         Giles Peaker, Antony Gold Solicitors

·         Matt Garret, Plymouth Council

·         Mike Wright, Salford Council

·         Veneeze Augustine, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

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