Homelessness Reduction Act - What it means for you
The new Homelessness Reduction Act became law on 3 April 2018. It puts more duties on councils to help all eligible people who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.
It improves the existing homelessness legislation, and adds two new duties:
Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness:Leicester City Council must help people who are at risk of losing their home within the next 56 days. This means people can get help earlier. We must help by working with the person to create a personal housing plan, and then trying, together, to either keep the current home or find a suitable new home.
Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness:
Leicester City Council must help all people who are already homeless. We must help by working with the person to create a personal housing plan, and then trying, together, to find a suitable new home.
Both duties are regardless of whether the applicant is ‘intentionally homeless’ or ‘priority need’. This should mean that all eligible households are offered help to find a home, rather than some people being turned away. It should also make sure that the true scale of homelessness is recorded.
If neither of the above steps work, those who are in ‘priority need’ and ‘unintentionally homeless’ keep their right to be rehoused, but non-priority households and intentionally homeless households will not be entitled to further help.
Glossary of Terms
‘Priority need’ - The legal meaning of priority need is limited to certain categories of people, but generally it means that someone in the household is more vulnerable than an ordinary person.
‘Intentionally homeless’ – The legal meaning of Intentionally homeless is complex, but generally it means the situation that caused homelessness is the applicant(s)’s fault, and it was within their control to stop it from happening.