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A step in the right direction

The Homelessness Reduction Act presents the possibility of meaningful assistance for many homeless applicants, but there are still some doubts about how effective it will be in practice, writes Giles Peaker

8 June 2017

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which received royal assent just before the dissolution of parliament, promises a significant change in the obligations of local housing authorities to the homeless and those threatened with homelessness when it comes into force, which is likely to be in 2018.

In addition to the current statutory housing duties, owed only to those who are eligible, homeless, in priority need, and not intentionally homeless (which is becoming homeless through a deliberate act or omission), the Act provides for two new duties and extends the time for being ‘threatened with homelessness’ from 28 days to 56 days.

Early versions of the Bill sought to end the practice of councils telling those in private tenancies facing eviction to stay put until a date for eviction by the bailiffs was set – after court proceedings and a possession order (and the costs ...

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