Letter: A Government that recycles the homeless

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The Independent Online
Sir: Colin Brown reports (19 July) that the 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act was introduced by the Labour Party. Although it gained government support, this Bill was in fact initially proposed and piloted through Parliament by the late Stephen Ross, the then Liberal MP for the Isle of Wight.

We are very disappointed that the Government is undermining the key principle of the Bill, which is that it should be the responsibility of local councils, without any moral judgement, to house permanently all those unintentionally homeless and in priority need. The Housing Minister's statement on Monday shows only a keenness to hide the problem of homelessness by shuffling people around between houses on a yearly basis, ignoring the fundamental problem in British housing today, which (as you recognised in Tuesday's leading article) is the chronic shortage of affordable homes to rent.

Without affordable homes to move into, the Government is only recycling the homeless problem, with the same people likely to come back year after year.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID RENDEL

MP for Newbury (Lib Dem)

DIANA MADDOCK

MP for Christchurch (Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London, SW1

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