By: Ellie Robinson
Published: May 2013
The government is proposing drastic new changes to legal aid which will have a huge impact on Shelter’s ability to help homeless people. This comes shortly after the implementation of huge cuts to civil legal aid affecting housing, debt and welfare cases in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
At a time when so many people are struggling and at risk of losing their homes the proposed legal aid cuts will further strip away help for people facing homelessness. It will make it even more difficult to find a place for people to stay for the night in emergency situations. We already encounter families who have slept in parks, in railway stations or in hospitals, or who have been travelling on night buses to keep warm – sadly, these changes will make this a more familiar sight. It could also mean more children being separated from their parents as they are taken into social care, or families disappearing into overcrowded, inadequate and transient accommodation.