Homelessness Reduction Act

In April 2018 the law for people who are homeless changed.

The new Act says Councils must give more help to homeless people, including people who are at risk of being homeless.

The change means more people are eligible for help.

Councils no longer consider if a customer has a priority need or has made themselves intentionally homeless before giving help.

The Homelessness Reduction Act introduced two new duties

  1. A duty to take steps prevent homelessness

  • The Council can help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days. 
  • This means people should get help on receiving a valid notice from their landlord if they are struggling to find a letting, rather than being told to come back when they have a bailiff’s date.
  1. A duty to take steps to relieve homelessness

  • The Council can help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are ‘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 ensure that the true scale of homelessness is recorded. 

If Neither Duty is Successful

If these steps don’t work and the household is homeless:

  • those in priority need retain their right to be rehoused
  • but non-priority households will not be entitled to further help