Nobody should be criminalised simply for having nowhere to live.
The Housing Minister has confirmed that the Vagrancy Act is currently under review. The cross-Government Rough Sleeping Strategy, which was published in August 2018, committed to reviewing homelessness and rough sleeping legislation, including the Vagrancy Act 1824. The Government believes that review of the 1824 Act, rather than immediate wholesale repeal, is the right course of action to ensure the consequences of repeal are fully understood. The Government will report no later than March 2020 and I will be monitoring developments very closely.
As you may be aware, I am a member of the Department for Work and Pensions Select Committee. Over recent years I have been very focused on securing improvements to Universal Credit as I am acutely aware that when the intended safety net is not available or working well, this can lead to homelessness. In the last few months I began a nationwide investigation into the causes of chronic poverty with Frank Field MP, Chair of the DWP Select Committee – Follow the links for more information about the work we are doing and to read a copy of our recently published interim report
Please be assured I am absolutely focused on, and commitment to, reducing the causes of poverty and homelessness and will monitor developments on review of the Vagrancy Act as part of the pending review of the homelessness and rough sleeping legislation.