Homelessness Act 2002

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2002 c. 7


Homelessness Act 2002

2002 Chapter 7

An Act to make further provision about the functions of local housing authorities relating to homelessness and the allocation of housing accommodation; and for connected purposes.

[26th February 2002]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Homelessness reviews and strategies

Homelessness reviews and strategies

S-1 Duty of local housing authority to formulate a homelessness strategy

1 Duty of local housing authority to formulate a homelessness strategy

(1) A local housing authority (‘the authority’) may from time to time—

(a) carry out a homelessness review for their district; and

(b) formulate and publish a homelessness strategy based on the results of that review.

(2) The social services authority for the district of the authority (where that is a different local authority) shall give such assistance in connection with the exercise of the power under subsection (1) as the authority may reasonably require.

(3) The authority shall exercise that power so as to ensure that the first homelessness strategy for their district is published within the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which this section comes into force.

(4) The authority shall exercise that power so as to ensure that a new homelessness strategy for their district is published within the period of five years beginning with the day on which their last homelessness strategy was published.

(5) A local housing authority shall take their homelessness strategy into account in the exercise of their functions.

(6) A social services authority shall take the homelessness strategy for the district of a local housing authority into account in the exercise of their functions in relation to that district.

(7) Nothing in subsection (5) or (6) affects any duty or requirement arising apart from this section.

S-2 Homelessness reviews

2 Homelessness reviews

(1) For the purposes of this Act ‘homelessness review’ means a review by a local housing authority of—

(a) the levels, and likely future levels, of homelessness in their district;

(b) the activities which are carried out for any purpose mentioned in subsection (2) (or which contribute to their achievement); and

(c) the resources available to the authority, the social services authority for their district, other public authorities, voluntary organisations and other persons for such activities.

(2) Those purposes are —

(a) preventing homelessness in the district of the authority;

(b) securing that accommodation is or will be available for people in the district who are or may become homeless;

(c) providing support for people in the district—

(i) who are or may become homeless; or

(ii) who have been homeless and need support to prevent them becoming homeless again.

(3) A local housing authority shall, after completing a homelessness review—

(a) arrange for the results of the review to be available at its principal office for inspection at all reasonable hours, without charge, by members of the public; and

(b) provide (on payment if required by the authority of a reasonable charge) a copy of those results to any member of the public who asks for one.

S-3 Homelessness strategies

3 Homelessness strategies

(1) For the purposes of this Act ‘homelessness strategy’ means a strategy formulated by a local housing authority for—

(a) preventing homelessness in their district;

(b) securing that sufficient accommodation is and will be available for people in their district who are or may become homeless;

(c) securing the satisfactory provision of support for people in their district—

(i) who are or may become homeless; or

(ii) who have been homeless and need support to prevent them becoming homeless again.

(2) A homelessness strategy may include specific objectives to be pursued, and specific action planned to be taken, in the course of the exercise of—

(a) the functions of the authority as a local housing authority; or

(b) the functions of the social services authority for the district.

(3) A homelessness strategy may also include provision relating to specific action which the authority expects to be taken—

(a) by any public authority with functions (not being functions mentioned in subsection (2)) which are capable of contributing to the achievement of any of the objectives mentioned in subsection (1); or

(b) by any voluntary organisation or other person whose activities are capable of contributing to the achievement of any of those objectives.

(4) The inclusion in a homelessness strategy of any provision relating to action mentioned in subsection (3) requires the approval of the body or person concerned.

(5) In formulating a homelessness strategy the authority shall consider (among other things) the extent to which any of the objectives mentioned in subsection (1) can be achieved through action involving two or more of the bodies or other persons mentioned in subsections (2) and (3).

(6) The authority shall keep their homelessness strategy under review and may modify it from time to time.

(7) If the authority modify their homelessness strategy, they shall publish the modifications or the strategy as modified (as they consider most appropriate).

(8) Before adopting or modifying a homelessness strategy the authority shall consult such public or local authorities, voluntary organisations or other persons as they consider appropriate.

(9) The authority shall—

(a) make a copy of each document published under this section available at its principal office for inspection at all reasonable hours, without charge, by members of the public; and

(b) provide (on payment if required by the authority of a reasonable charge) a copy of a document so published to any member of the public who asks for one.

S-4 Sections 1 to 3: interpretation

4 Sections 1 to 3: interpretation

In sections 1 to 3—

‘homeless’ and ‘homelessness’ have the same meaning as in Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52) (in this Act referred to as ‘the 1996 Act’);

‘local housing authority’ and ‘district’ have the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985 (c. 68);

‘social services authority’ means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 (c. 42);

‘support’ means advice, information or assistance; and

‘voluntary organisation’ has the same meaning as in section 180(3) of the 1996 Act.

Other functions relating to homelessness

Other functions relating to homelessness

S-5 Provision of accommodation for persons not in priority need who are not

5 Provision of accommodation for persons not in priority need who are not

homeless intentionally

(1) In section 192 of the 1996 Act (duty to persons not in priority need who are not homeless intentionally), after subsection (2) there is inserted—

(3) The authority may secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant.’

(2) In section 195 of the 1996 Act (duties in cases of threatened homelessness), after subsection (8) (as inserted by paragraph 14 of Schedule 1) there is inserted—

(9) If the authority—

(a) are not satisfied that the applicant has a priority need; and

(b) are not satisfied that he became threatened with homelessness intentionally,

the authority may take reasonable steps to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for the applicant's occupation.’

S-6 Abolition of minimum period for which an authority is subject to main

6 Abolition of minimum period for which an authority is subject to main

homelessness duty

(1) For subsections (3) and (4) of section 193 of the 1996 Act (period for which main homelessness duty is owed to person with priority need) there is substituted—

(3) The authority are subject to the duty under this section until it ceases by virtue of any of the following provisions of this section.’

(2) Subsection (1) applies to a person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, is owed the duty under section 193 as it applies to a person who comes to be owed that duty after that commencement.

(3) Section 194 of the 1996 Act (power to continue to secure accommodation after minimum period) shall cease to have effect.

(4) Any person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, is a person in relation to whom a local housing authority are exercising their power under section 194 of the 1996 Act shall be treated at that commencement as a person to whom the authority owe the duty under section 193 of that Act.

S-7 Events which cause the main homelessness duty to cease

7 Events which cause the main homelessness duty to cease

(1) Subsections (6) to (8) of section 193 of the 1996 Act (events which bring main homelessness duty...

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