The 2017 Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force on 3 April 2018 and represents a significant change to homelessness legislation.

The Act strengthens a duty in law on the part of the local authority to prevent homelessness, which will be done by developing jointly with every eligible person, a homeless prevention and relief plan.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 - Frequently asked questions

When should I contact the council if I am worried that I might become homeless?

You should immediately contact the council for advice and assistance if your landlord has served you with a notice asking you to leave, or you are otherwise worried that you are or might become homeless. You should not wait for your landlord to have secured possession from the courts, before you notify us.

What sort of information will I be required to provide my caseworker, so a homeless plan can be developed?

Your homeless case officer will need proof of your identity, your tenancy agreement, and any notice asking you to leave. For example they might need to see letters from your landlord, wage slips, proof of benefits etc. to help them develop a plan.

What sort of actions might the Authority carry out to prevent me becoming homeless?

The Authority will normally contact your landlord to see if it can negotiate on your behalf for you to remain in the same property. It could also mean providing you with information, about benefits you can claim, or information on how to look for accommodation or your housing rights to remain in the property.

What sort of actions might I be required to carry out as part of a homeless prevention plan?

Your case officer will advise you of this, examples might include looking for accommodation or claiming benefits entitled to you. In some cases your obligations as a tenant will be explained to you, if the landlord is concerned you are not meeting the conditions of your tenancy.

What is the difference between a homeless prevention plan and a relief plan?

A prevention plan is for those that are threatened with homelessness from the home they are currently occupying, a relief plan would be made for those that the Authority already considers to be statutorily homeless.

Do I have to undertake actions outlined for me in the prevention plan?

You will only be required to undertake reasonable actions by your case officer e.g. looking for accommodation. If you feel an action is not reasonable you should explain this to your case officer.

If I am a single person with no additional support needs will the authority now be required to house me?

The authority will work with you to develop a prevention and a relief plan, and advise you of your options but just as under the current legislation there is no statutory duty to rehouse single people without support needs. If you are vulnerable or have additional needs please tell your caseworker, they will advise you of what further information they require and what the Authorities statutory duty is towards you.