Homelessness Reduction Act
In April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into effect and changed the way we deal with any eligible person who is at risk of homelessness.
What is the HRA
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places new duties on local authorities to intervene earlier to prevent homelessness and to take reasonable steps to relieve homelessness for all eligible applicants, not just those who have priority need under the Act. This Act does not replace the previous legislation but includes additional duties.
There are 2 main new duties:
- The duty to take reasonable steps to prevent homelessness – we are required to help people who are at risk of losing their accommodation within 56 days. We encourage people to contact us earlier if possible. This might include helping them to stay in their current home or helping them to find a new one.
- The duty to take reasonable steps to relieve homelessness – we are required to help people who are already homeless to secure accommodation, regardless of whether they are in priority need or became homeless intentionally. However, this does not mean that there is a guarantee of housing.
If neither of the above steps work and a household remains homeless, we then decide whether there is any further duty to provide assistance.
People who are facing homelessness, and who ask for our help, will have their circumstances and needs assessed. This will lead to the production of a Personal Housing Plan (PHP) which sets out what steps the applicant will take and what steps we will take in helping to resolve the situation.
Shelter is a charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing. You can contact them for advice, support and legal services.
For more information visit the Shelter website or call their helpline on 0808 800 4444.