Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Citation2017 c. 13


Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

2017 Chapter 13

An Act to make provision about measures for reducing homelessness; and for connected purposes

[27 April 2017]

Be 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:—

Threatened homelessness

Threatened homelessness

S-1 Meaning of “threatened with homelessness”

1 Meaning of “threatened with homelessness”

(1) Section 175 of the Housing Act 1996 (homelessness and threatened homelessness) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4), for “28” substitute “56”.

(3) After subsection (4) insert—

“(5) A person is also threatened with homelessness if—(a) a valid notice has been given to the person under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (orders for possession on expiry or termination of assured shorthold tenancy) in respect of the only accommodation the person has that is available for the person’s occupation, and(b) that notice will expire within 56 days.”

Advisory services

Advisory services

S-2 Duty to provide advisory services

2 Duty to provide advisory services

For section 179 of the Housing Act 1996 (duty of local housing authority to provide advisory services) substitute—

179. Duty of local housing authority in England to provide advisory services

(1) Each local housing authority in England must provide or secure the provision of a service, available free of charge to any person in the authority’s district, providing information and advice on—

(a) preventing homelessness,

(b) securing accommodation when homeless,

(c) the rights of persons who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, and the duties of the authority, under this Part,

(d) any help that is available from the authority or anyone else, whether under this Part or otherwise, for persons in the authority’s district who are homeless or may become homeless (whether or not they are threatened with homelessness), and

(e) how to access that help.

(2) The service must be designed to meet the needs of persons in the authority’s district including, in particular, the needs of—

(a) persons released from prison or youth detention accommodation,

(b) care leavers,

(c) former members of the regular armed forces,

(d) victims of domestic abuse,

(e) persons leaving hospital,

(f) persons suffering from a mental illness or impairment, and

(g) any other group that the authority identify as being at particular risk of homelessness in the authority’s district.

(3) The authority may give to any person by whom the service is provided on behalf of the authority assistance by way of grant or loan.

(4) The authority may also assist any such person—

(a) by permitting the person to use premises belonging to the authority,

(b) by making available furniture or other goods, whether by way of gift, loan or otherwise, and

(c) by making available the services of staff employed by the authority.

(5) In this section—

“care leavers” means persons who are former relevant children (within the meaning given by section 23C(1) of the Children Act 1989);

“domestic abuse” means—

(a) physical violence,

(b) threatening, intimidating, coercive or controlling behaviour, or

(c) emotional, financial, sexual or any other form of abuse,

where the victim is associated with the abuser;

“financial abuse” includes—

(a) having money or other property stolen,

(b) being defrauded,

(c) being put under pressure in relation to money or other property, and

(d) having money or other property misused;

“hospital” has the same meaning as in the National Health Service Act 2006 (see section 275(1) of that Act);

“regular armed forces” means the regular forces as defined by section 374 of the Armed Forces Act 2006;

“youth detention accommodation” means—

(a) a secure children’s home,

(b) a secure training centre,

(c) a secure college,

(d) a young offender institution,

(e) accommodation provided by or on behalf of a local authority for the purpose of restricting the liberty of children;

(f) accommodation provided for that purpose under section 82(5) of the Children Act 1989, or

(g) accommodation, or accommodation of a description, for the time being specified by order under section 107(1)(e) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (youth detention accommodation for the purposes of detention and training orders).”

Assessments and plans

Assessments and plans

S-3 Duty to assess all eligible applicants’ cases and agree a plan

3 Duty to assess all eligible applicants’ cases and agree a plan

(1) After section 189 of the Housing Act 1996, but before the heading after that section (duties to persons found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness), insert—

Duty to assess every eligible applicant’s case and agree a plan

189A. Assessments and personalised plan

(1) If the local housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is—

(a) homeless or threatened with homelessness, and

(b) eligible for assistance,

the authority must make an assessment of the applicant’s case.

(2) The authority’s assessment of the applicant’s case must include an assessment of—

(a) the circumstances that caused the applicant to become homeless or threatened with homelessness,

(b) the housing needs of the applicant including, in particular, what accommodation would be suitable for the applicant and any persons with whom the applicant resides or might reasonably be expected to reside (“other relevant persons”), and

(c) what support would be necessary for the applicant and any other relevant persons to be able to have and retain suitable accommodation.

(3) The authority must notify the applicant, in writing, of the assessment that the authority make.

(4) After the assessment has been made, the authority must try to agree with the applicant—

(a) any steps the applicant is to be required to take for the purposes of securing that the applicant and any other relevant persons have and are able to retain suitable accommodation, and

(b) the steps the authority are to take under this Part for those purposes.

(5) If the authority and the applicant reach an agreement, the authority must record it in writing.

(6) If the authority and the applicant cannot reach an agreement, the authority must record in writing—

(a) why they could not agree,

(b) any steps the authority consider it would be reasonable to require the applicant to take for the purposes mentioned in subsection (4)(a), and

(c) the steps the authority are to take under this Part for those purposes.

(7) The authority may include in a written record produced under subsection (5) or (6) any advice for the applicant that the authority consider appropriate (including any steps the authority consider it would be a good idea for the applicant to take but which the applicant should not be required to take).

(8) The authority must give to the applicant a copy of any written record produced under subsection (5) or (6).

(9) Until such time as the authority consider that they owe the applicant no duty under any of the following sections of this Part, the authority must keep under review—

(a) their assessment of the applicant’s case, and

(b) the appropriateness of any agreement reached under subsection (4) or steps recorded under subsection (6)(b) or (c).

(10) If—

(a) the authority’s assessment of any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2) changes, or

(b) the authority’s assessment of the applicant’s case otherwise changes such that the authority consider it appropriate to do so,

the authority must notify the applicant, in writing, of how their assessment of the applicant’s case has changed (whether by providing the applicant with a revised written assessment or otherwise).

(11) If the authority consider that any agreement reached under subsection (4) or any step recorded under subsection (6)(b) or (c) is no longer appropriate—

(a) the authority must notify the applicant, in writing, that they consider the agreement or step is no longer appropriate,

(b) any failure, after the notification is given, to take a step that was agreed to in the agreement or recorded under subsection (6)(b) or (c) is to be disregarded for the purposes of this Part, and

(c) subsections (4) to (8) apply as they applied after the assessment was made.

(12) A notification under this section or a copy of any written record produced under subsection (5) or (6), if not received by the applicant, is to be treated as having been given to the applicant if it is made available at the authority’s office for a reasonable period for collection by or on behalf of the applicant.”

(2) In section 190 of that Act (duties to persons becoming homeless intentionally), for subsection (4) substitute—

“(4) In deciding what advice and assistance is to be provided under this section, the authority must have regard to their assessment of the applicant’s case under section 189A.”

Duties to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

Duties to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

S-4 Duty in cases of threatened homelessness

4 Duty in cases of threatened homelessness

(1) The Housing Act 1996 is amended as follows.

(2) For section 195 (duties in case of threatened homelessness) substitute—

“ 195. Duties in cases of threatened homelessness(1) This section applies where the local housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is—(a) threatened with homelessness, and(b) eligible for assistance.(2) The authority must take reasonable steps to help the applicant to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for the applicant’s occupation.(3) In deciding what steps they are to take, the authority must have regard to their assessment of the applicant’s case under...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT