The Homelessness Reduction Act aims to reduce the number of households becoming homeless and living in temporary accommodation or sleeping rough.

Councils must help anyone at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days, or anyone who has received a valid section 21 notice. This help includes providing clear advice that can help prevent or relieve homelessness, and which sets out the assistance available to do so.

People whose immigration status makes them ineligible to receive public funds, such as benefits may be excluded although if you think this could apply to you, you should request help with your housing first and this can be assessed.

Help includes supporting people to stay in their accommodation or helping them find somewhere to live.

Changes made by the Homelessness Reduction Act

Prior to the Homelessness Reduction Act

Changes made by the Homelessness Reduction Act

Local authorities were required to provide advice and assistance to anyone who was threatened with homelessness within 28 days

Local authorities required to take necessary steps to prevent the loss of accommodation for all households who were threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This is known as the Prevention duty.

There was no specific requirement for local authorities to act in a particular way when approaches were made by someone who had received a notice from their landlord

The requirement to take necessary steps to prevent the loss of accommodation for all those households who were threatened with homelessness within 56 days, and who had received a valid section 21 notice. This is known as the Prevention Duty.

Local authorities were required to provide advice and assistance to anyone who was homeless

The requirement to take necessary steps to assist the household in securing accommodation for all those households who were homeless. This is known as the Relief Duty.

There was no specific requirement for local authorities to provide advice in a particular way

The requirement to provide a Personalised Housing Plan for all those who were owed the Prevention or Relief Duty.

There was no specific requirement for local authorities to provide notifications to applicants regarding the stages of their application

The requirement to notify the applicant once these duties had come to an end.

There were limited rights of review, mostly concerning the final decisions that had been made, and the suitability of accommodation provided

Several new rights to review decisions, at several stages of the application and the nature of the advice provided

 

Advice and Support

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, please make an approach to our service and answer a few questions so we can direct you to help and support as soon as possible. After you have contacted us we will assess your situation and if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness we will provide you with a personalised housing plan, setting out and agreeing the steps that will be taken to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

Read more about the Homelessness Reduction Act

 

Read our Prevention of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020 - 2025