The Homeless Reduction Act - What it means for you.
The new Homeless Reduction Act (HRA) increases the requirements for Cannock Chase District Council to help all eligible applicants rather than just those with a 'priority need'.
It addds two new duties:
- Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness: Cannock Chase District Council will have to 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 lettting, rather than being told to come back when they have a bailiffs date.
- Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: Cannock Chase District Council will have to help all of 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 of the steps work and the household becomes or remains homeless, then those in priority need retain their right to be rehoused, but non-priority households will not be entitled to further help.
The 2017 Homeless Monitor shows half (49%) of English councils, and virtually all (94%) of London boroughs report that helping homeless people to find a self contained private rental is 'very difficult' because of the combined effects of rising rents and welfare benefits restrictions, particularly due to frozen Local Housing Allowance rates. In addition to this almost two-thirds (64%) report difficulties in helping homeless people access social housing, with three-quarters of London boroughs describing this as 'very difficult' because there is such a chronic shortgae.
Last Updated: 23/03/2018