David Burrowes seeks reassurance from Government on homelessness

14th January 2016

David Burrowes seeks reassurance from the Government that there is a sufficient legal safety net for vulnerable and homeless people who are unintentionally homeless.

Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate) (Con): What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the effect of the Supreme Court ruling of 13 May 2015 on local authorities’ ability to meet their legal duties towards people facing homelessness. [903038]

The Solicitor General (Robert Buckland): I have to observe the proprieties of the Law Officers’ convention, but the Government welcome the clarity the judgment provided. It explains that any assessment of vulnerability must be made in the round, looking at all aspects of a person’s situation.

Mr Burrowes: A rough sleeper is likely die by the age of 47. Homeless people are inherently vulnerable. Can the Solicitor General assure me that, as the law currently stands, a safety net is provided for vulnerable and homeless people who are unintentionally homeless?

The Solicitor General: I commend my hon. Friend for the considerable work he has done on this issue, both in the capital and generally. The Government intervened in that case precisely because they were concerned that the test would disproportionately affect vulnerable homeless people. I am glad the Supreme Court has rebalanced the law in what I think is a fair way.

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