What will the Lords do with the Homelessness Reduction Bill?
On Friday the Lords will have their first chance to debate the Homelessness Reduction Bill as it has its second reading. This stage is pretty similar to second reading in the Commons however there are some differences. Second reading in the Commons was the first time that MPs got the chance to debate the Bill.
Firstly, they will be debating the Bill as amended in the Commons rather than the Bill that was debated by MPs at second reading. Unlike in the Commons we know exactly who is speaking as all Peers need to add their name to the speakers list in order to speak in a debate. It is unlikely any peer will try and talk the Bill out as it has got this far, if they believe that the Bill should be amended they will try and do this at Committee stage.
Secondly, peers will not be trying to score electoral points, as they are not elected. They will instead pick up on points made by the Commons and dig for further answers if they felt that Ministers in the Commons didn’t give sufficient answers. Expect the debate to be wide ranging and for Peers to pick up on points not covered by the Bill but on what they would like to see the Government do in relation to homelessness.
It is important to remember that the Bill has received strong cross party support as it progressed through the House of Commons and we hope this will continue into the Lords.
After second reading a Bill would normally go to committee stage like it did in the Commons but as there is a limited number of sitting Fridays we are hoping no amendments are laid so it won’t go to committee. Any amendments put forward would seriously jeopardise the safe passage of the Bill. We are looking to the Lords to see this carefully crafted Bill safely through this final stage. This Bill has undergone a huge amount of scrutiny and has benefited from a strong spirit of collaboration and cross party working that had been fundamental to its successful passage to date. If no amendments are laid the Bill will go to third reading, report stage won’t be necessary as no changes will have been made, so they won’t need to debate the Bill as amended in Committee.
After third reading it will be sent for Royal Assent, this is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law). If changes are made in the Lords the Bill will need to be sent back to the Commons for them to approve or deny them- this is called ‘ping pong’ but this Bill does not have the luxury of having lots of parliamentary time so we hope no changes are made. We hope that no amendments are laid and it goes through the Lords and straight on to Royal Assent.
Follow our tweets on the day or the debate can be watched here. You can also read our joint briefing here.