Petition Update

The threat to night shelters is discussed in the House of Lords

John Gall, Emmaus

Jun 14, 2013 — The threat to night shelters was discussed in the House of Lords this week, but the Department of Work and Pensions has yet to take action to protect them from closing.

Lord Alton of Liverpool called for the government to issue new guidance to local authorities to ensure that night shelters are not forced to close through loss of housing benefit. Lord Freud replied that night shelters may need to find alternative sources of funding. But in the current economic climate, this is easier said than done.

There is a lot of confusion among local authorities about what the tribunal ruling means. Some have suspended housing benefit payments to night shelters entirely; some have agreed to continue it; some have asked night shelters to change how they operate; many others are still reviewing their housing benefit policies.

This is why it is so important that Lord Freud provides clear guidance to local authorities to make sure that night shelters throughout the country stay open.