Localism Bill — Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 5th September 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Labour 4:45 pm, 5th September 2011

My Lords, briefly, I support the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Shipley. This is a welcome group of amendments that are intended to give homeless households additional protection to that proposed under the Bill.

As I said before, we have a housing crisis. Homelessness is one of the many symptoms of that. We need to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to protect people who find themselves in distressed or difficult situations. In some cases, two years may be more than adequate, but there will be cases where that is not appropriate, and we should look at how we can make further provision for those situations. Of course, it is very likely that homeless households that need to make use of the provision will include some of the most vulnerable individuals with whom local authorities have to deal. If the Minister is not minded to accept the amendment, perhaps she can reassure us that the matter will be kept under review following implementation of the initiatives on homelessness in the Bill.

I add that if the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, were minded to test the opinion of the House, he would find support on these Benches. I also make the point that the Government Chief Whip reminded the House earlier that we have additional time, but otherwise this is a normal Report. If the opinion of the House is not tested at this point, we are running out of options.