Today marks the beginning of the new responsibilities placed on councils through the Homelessness Reduction Act. This act will make Local Authorities legally duty-bound to provide everyone who is already or at risk of being homeless access to the help and support needed. This involves designing services around the needs of those that are at increased risk of becoming homeless. At The Future Melting Pot we are strongly committed to improving the West Midlands and transforming the futures of young people in the communities. To fulfil our vision of forging a truly inclusive society we are taking special interest in supporting homeless people and those at risk of homelessness as too often young people find themselves trapped in dangerous situations. We are therefore excited by the new Act coming into being as it will make homelessness central to the agendas of council and inspire new projects and forms of collaboration. This good news has been coupled with the recent announcement that housing benefit will be reintroduced for 18-21 year olds which Crisis have shown would have led to a dramatic increase of young people being unable to afford rent. We believe passionately that the only way to ensure the future of our young people is to support them when they are going through tough times so they can lead and build for years to come. It will always be much more sustainable to prevent disaster than it will be to deal with the aftermath. As a society, we need to embrace the cohesive efforts to understand why so many young people end up homeless and make sure that we can intervene before they are on the streets.
The Reduction Act is an important first step in making meaningful change the number of homeless in the UK. However, it is only a first step. Real change needs resources, innovation, and collaboration. Councils might now have the responsibility to support homeless people but they do not have the finance or housing to do so. While we celebrate the Act we must also look forward as young people are the future of this nation and we cannot afford to let them down. It is encouraging to see people coming together and discussing solutions instead of pretending the problem does not exist. By working together, we can make a difference and we at The Future Melting Pot are excited about what we will achieve.
Photo Credit: Bigf Issue. Bob Blackman MP, who first introduced the bill, and the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP Communities Secretary