East Ham MP Stephen Timms has praised an east London charity’s work to provide a path out of homelessness.

The comment came during a reception for World Homeless Day at the House of Lords, put on by charity Caritas Anchor House. Timms congratulated the organisation for raising the aspirations of people that have faced life’s sharp end.

He said: “What’s fantastic about Caritas Anchor House is that it gives people the prospect of a decent future, people that thought they would never have one, and support them into employment.”

Caritas Anchor House provides accommodation and support to homeless people. In 2014 it provided a home for 231 people, helped 71 into independent living and supported 63 into employment.

Caritas Anchor House has recently started improving its services, including 25 move-on flats to support homeless people into independent living.

However, they have recently been told by HM Revenue and Customs that they face an additional VAT bill of £1million for the development.

• Also online: Newham charity says homeless at risk after surprise £1million VAT bill

Former cabinet secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell said: “I hope the disputes with HMRC will be resolved in a successful way. It is a real shame it is standing in the way of what could be really important and an enhancement to what’s going on.

“Caritas Anchor House supports people to build skills, get education and jobs, contribute to society and pay taxes rather than receive benefits. It’s a win all round and they are doing work that is very difficult and yet still making a real difference.”

Monsignor John Armitage

Chairman of trustees at Caritas Anchor House Monsignor John Armitage said that the charity now needs help to ensure that every person who walks through their doors has access to the best care and support possible, making the hope of independent life a reality.

“A strong community is one where we come together to support each other to make a positive difference,” he said.

“We need an all-out assault on poverty, and that can only be achieved by working together in partnership.”