Homelessness—assisting the homeless post-3 April 2018
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth England of 42 Bedford Row
Homelessness—assisting the homeless post-3 April 2018

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Elizabeth England of 42 Bedford Row provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Homelessness—assisting the homeless post-3 April 2018
  • Homelessness legislation
  • Applications made after 3 April 2018
  • The duty to provide information and advice
  • The duty to assess and agree a personalised housing plan
  • The assessment of circumstances and needs
  • The personalised housing plan
  • The relationship between the duty to assess and agree a personalised housing plan and the prevention and relief duties
  • The prevention duty
  • The relief duty
  • more

Homelessness legislation

The primary homelessness legislation, Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996), provides the statutory underpinning for action to prevent homelessness and provide assistance to people who are threatened with or actually homeless.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA 2017) entered into force on 3 April 2018, significantly reforming England’s homelessness legislation. For background reading on main homelessness duties prior to the implementation of the HRA 2017, see Practice Note: Assisting the homeless pre-3 April 2018 applications [Archived].

LHAs shall have regard to such guidance as is issued by the Secretary of State in the exercise of their homelessness functions. The previous Homelessness code of guidance in England was that of July 2006 (2006 Code). Following HRA 2017, a new 2018 Code has been issued which replaces and consolidates the former version and all previous supplementary guidance for all applications and reviews made after 3 April 2018.

The revised regime places duties on local authorities to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas. It also requires local housing authorities (LHAs) to provide homelessness services to all those affected, not just those who have ‘priority need’. These include:

  1. an enhanced prevention duty extending the period a household is threatened with homelessness from 28 days to 56 days, meaning that LHAs are required to work with people to