Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is to be implemented on 3 April 2018, signalling the most significant change to homelessness law for a number of years. The new legislation places a duty on Councils to help prevent the homelessness of all who are eligible and threatened with homelessness, regardless of priority need.
Key measures in the Act include

  • An extension of the period in which the authority should treat someone as threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days
  • A new duty to prevent homelessness and a new duty to relieve homelessness
  • A requirement for public services to notify the Council if they come into contact with someone who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • A duty on the applicant to co-operate with the authority in resolving their housing issue

Duties to prevent and relieve homelessness:

Tamworth Borough Council will have a duty to help people if they are at risk of losing their suitable accommodation within 56 days. Steps taken to relieve homelessness will be that the Council will help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation regardless of whether they are ‘intentionally homeless’ or priority need. Eligible households will be given help to find accommodation. If neither of the first two steps work and the household remains or become homeless, then those clients in priority need will retain their rights be housed but those who are non-priority will not be entitled to any further help. 

There is also a requirement for Councils to make sure that everyone can get free information and advice on preventing and relieving homelessness, particularly vulnerable groups including victims of domestic abuse, persons suffering from mental ill health and prisoners on release.

The Council is already planning for the changes ahead including making sure that information on the Council website is up-to-date. If you are threatened with homelessness or are homeless, or would like to find out more about the Homelessness Reduction Act, you can contact the Council’s Housing Solutions Service on 01827 709709.