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Homelessness Code of Guidance
for Local Authorities


Homelessness Code of Guidance
for Local Authorities
July 2006
Department for Communities and Local Government: London

On 5th May 2006 the responsibilities of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) transferred to the 
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CONTENTS
OVERVIEW OF THE HOMELESSNESS LEGISLATION
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 1
HOMELESSNESS REVIEWS AND STRATEGIES
16
CHAPTER 2
PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS
30
CHAPTER 3
ENSURING A SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF ACCOMMODATION
38
CHAPTER 4
SECURING SUPPORT SERVICES
44
CHAPTER 5
WORKING WITH OTHERS
49
CHAPTER 6
APPLICATIONS, INQUIRIES, DECISIONS AND NOTIFICATIONS
57
CHAPTER 7
INTERIM DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE
63
CHAPTER 8
HOMELESS OR THREATENED WITH HOMELESSNESS
66
CHAPTER 9
ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE
75
CHAPTER 10
PRIORITY NEED
82
CHAPTER 11
INTENTIONAL HOMELESSNESS
95
CHAPTER 12
16 & 17 YEAR OLDS
103
CHAPTER 13
CO-OPERATION IN CERTAIN CASES INVOLVING CHILDREN
107
CHAPTER 14
MAIN DUTIES OWED TO APPLICANTS ON COMPLETION OF INQUIRIES
110

CHAPTER 15
DISCRETIONARY POWERS TO SECURE ACCOMMODATION
118
CHAPTER 16
SECURING ACCOMMODATION
123
CHAPTER 17
SUITABILITY OF ACCOMMODATION
133
CHAPTER 18
LOCAL CONNECTION AND REFERRALS TO ANOTHER HOUSING AUTHORITY 144
CHAPTER 19
REVIEW OF DECISIONS AND APPEALS TO THE COUNTY COURT
152
CHAPTER 20
PROTECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
159
CHAPTER 21
CONTRACTING OUT HOMELESSNESS FUNCTIONS
161
ANNEX 1
GOOD PRACTICE/GUIDANCE PUBLICATIONS
164
ANNEX 2
OTHER STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMMES THAT MAY ADDRESS
HOMELESSNESS
169
ANNEX 3
OTHER AUTHORITIES, ORGANISATIONS AND PERSONS WHOSE ACTIVITIES
MAY CONTRIBUTE TO PREVENTING/TACKLING HOMELESSNESS
170
ANNEX 4
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES THAT
MIGHT BE INCLUDED IN A HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY
173
ANNEX 5
CO-OPERATION BETWEEN REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS AND
HOUSING AUTHORITIES
175
ANNEX 6
HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY: SPECIFIC ACTION THAT MIGHT BE 
EXPECTED TO BE TAKEN BY OTHERS
180
ANNEX 7
TACKLING COMMON CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS
184

ANNEX 8
HOW TO CONTACT THE HOME OFFICE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY
DIRECTORATE
192
ANNEX 9
ASYLUM SEEKERS
193
ANNEX 10
THE HABITUAL RESIDENCE TEST
196
ANNEX 11
EUROPEAN GROUPINGS 
(EU, A8, EEA, SWITZERLAND) 
200
ANNEX 12
RIGHTS TO RESIDE IN THE UK DERIVED FROM EC LAW
201
ANNEX 13
WORKER REGISTRATION SCHEME
211
ANNEX 14
MOD CERTIFICATE: CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF ENTITLEMENT FOR
SINGLE PERSONNEL TO OCCUPY SERVICE LIVING ACCOMMODATION
218
ANNEX 15
MOD CERTIFICATE: CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO 
OCCUPY SERVICE FAMILIES ACCOMMODATION OR SUBSTITUTE SERVICE
FAMILIES ACCOMMODATION(SFA/SSFA)
219
ANNEX 16
DEFINITION OF OVERCROWDING
220
ANNEX 17
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BED AND BREAKFAST
ACCOMMODATION
222
ANNEX 18
PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS OF HOMELESS APPLICANTS ON THE
GROUNDS OF LOCAL CONNECTON WITH ANOTHER LOCAL AUTHORITY
227
INDEX
250

OVERVIEW OF THE HOMELESSNESS LEGISLATION
This overview provides a summary of the homelessness legislation and the duties, powers and
obligations on housing authorities and others towards people who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness. This overview does not form part of the statutory code of guidance and is not a
legal commentary.

Introduction
1.
The homelessness legislation – that is, Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 – provides the
statutory under-pinning for action to tackle homelessness.
2.
The Government’s strategy for tackling homelessness is outlined in Sustainable
Communities: Homes for All 
and Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing
lives
, published in 2005. The strategy aims to expand housing opportunities, including for
those who need additional support, and for disadvantaged sections of society by offering
a wider range of preventative measures and increasing access to settled homes.
The homelessness legislation
3.
The homelessness legislation places a general duty on housing authorities to ensure that
advice and information about homelessness, and preventing homelessness, is available to
everyone in their district free of charge. The legislation also requires authorities to assist
individuals and families who are homeless or threatened with homelessness and apply for
help.
4.
In 2002, the Government amended the homelessness legislation through the
Homelessness Act 2002 
and the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation)
(England) Order 2002 
to:
• ensure a more strategic approach to tackling and preventing homelessness, in
particular by requiring a homelessness strategy for every housing authority district,
and
• strengthen the assistance available to people who are homeless or threatened with
homelessness by extending the priority need categories to homeless 16 and 17 year
olds; care leavers aged 18,19 and 20; people who are vulnerable as a result of time
spent in care, the armed forces, prison or custody, and people who are vulnerable
because they have fled their home because of violence.
5.
The legislation places duties on housing authorities, and gives them powers, to meet
these aims. But it also emphasises the need for joint working between housing
authorities, social services and other statutory, voluntary and private sector partners in
tackling homelessness more effectively.
7
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

6.
The Government continues to supplement housing authorities’ resources with specific
programmes to help them deliver effective homelessness strategies and services, prevent
homelessness, reduce use of temporary accommodation and end the worst manifestations
of homelessness such as people sleeping rough and families with children living in bed
and breakfast hotels.
The homelessness review and strategy
7.
Under the Homelessness Act 2002 all housing authorities must have in place a
homelessness strategy based on a review of all forms of homelessness in their district.
The first strategy was required by July 2003 and it must be renewed at least every 5 years
(unless this duty has been disapplied by the Local Authorities Plans and Strategies
(Disapplication) (England) Order 2005
). The social services authority must provide all
reasonable assistance.
8.
The strategy must set out the local authority’s plans for the prevention of homelessness
and for securing that sufficient accommodation and support are or will be available for
people who become homeless or who are at risk of becoming so. Housing authorities will
therefore need to ensure that all organisations, within all sectors, whose work can help to
prevent homelessness and/or meet the needs of homeless people in their district are
involved in the strategy. This will need to include not just housing providers (such as
housing associations and private landlords) but also other statutory bodies such as social
services, the probation service, the health service and the wide range of organisations in
the private and voluntary sectors whose work helps prevent homelessness or meet the
needs of people who have experienced homelessness.
9.
Housing authorities will also need to give careful consideration to the scope for joint
working between social services and the many other key players in the district who are
working to meet the needs of people who are homeless or have experienced
homelessness.
General duty to provide advice on homelessness
10. The housing authority can provide advice and information about homelessness – and the
prevention of homelessness – themselves or arrange for another agency to do it on their
behalf. Either way, the advice and assistance provided will need to be up to date and
robust if it is to be effective and help achieve the housing authority’s strategic aim of
preventing homelessness. The service will need to be wide-ranging so that it offers
advice and information about not only housing options but also the broad range of
factors that can contribute to homelessness. This might include, for example, advice on
social security benefits, household budgeting, tenancy support services and family
mediation services. The advice provided should also act as a signpost to other, more
specialist advice such as debt management, health care and coping with drug and alcohol
misuse, where this is needed.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
8

The main homelessness duty
11. Under the legislation, certain categories of household, such as families with children and
households that include someone who is vulnerable, for example because of pregnancy,
old age, or physical or mental disability, have a priority need for accommodation.
Housing authorities must ensure that suitable accommodation is available for people who
have priority need, if they are eligible for assistance and unintentionally homeless
(certain categories of persons from abroad are ineligible.) This is known as the main
homelessness duty. The housing authority can provide accommodation in their own stock
or arrange for it to be provided by another landlord, for example, a housing association or
a landlord in the private rented sector.
12. If settled accommodation is not immediately available, accommodation must be made
available in the short term until the applicant can find a settled home, or until some other
circumstance brings the duty to an end, for example, where the household voluntarily
leaves the temporary accommodation provided by the housing authority. A settled home
to bring the homelessness duty to an end could include the offer of a suitable secure or
introductory tenancy in a local authority’s housing stock (or nomination for a housing
association assured tenancy) allocated under Part 6 of the 1996 Act or the offer of a
suitable tenancy from a private landlord made by arrangement with the local authority.
13. Under the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003, housing
authorities can no longer discharge a homelessness duty to secure suitable
accommodation by placing families with children, and households that include a
pregnant woman, in Bed & Breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks – and
then only if more suitable accommodation is not available.
Applications and inquiries
14. Housing authorities must give proper consideration to all applications for housing
assistance, and if they have reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless or
threatened with homelessness, they must make inquiries to see whether they owe them
any duty under Part 7 of the 1996 Act. This assessment process is important in enabling
housing authorities to identify the assistance which an applicant may need either to
prevent them from becoming homeless or to help them to find another home. In each
case, the authority will need to decide whether the applicant is eligible for assistance,
actually homeless, has a priority need, and whether the homelessness was intentional 
(see below). If they wish, housing authorities can also consider whether applicants have a
local connection with the local district, or with another district. Certain applicants who
are persons from abroad are not eligible for any assistance under Part 7 except free
advice and information about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness.
Interim duty to accommodate
15. If an authority have reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless or threatened
with homelessness, they must also decide if they also have reason to believe that the
applicant may be eligible for assistance and have a priority need for accommodation.
9
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

They must do this even before they have completed their inquiries. If there is reason to
believe the applicant meets these criteria, the housing authority have an immediate duty
to ensure that suitable accommodation is available until they complete their inquiries and
decide whether a substantive duty is owed under Part 7. This is an important part of the
safety net for people who have a priority need for accommodation and are unintentionally
homeless.
When is someone homeless?
16. Broadly speaking, somebody is statutorily homeless if they do not have accommodation
that they have a legal right to occupy, which is accessible and physically available to
them (and their household) and which it would be reasonable for them to continue to live
in. It would not be reasonable for someone to continue to live in their home, for example,
if that was likely to lead to violence against them (or a member of their family).
Intentional homelessness
17. A person would be homeless intentionally where homelessness was the consequence of a
deliberate action or omission by that person (unless this was made in good faith in
ignorance of a relevant fact). A deliberate act might be a decision to leave the previous
accommodation even though it would have been reasonable for the person (and everyone
in the person’s household) to continue to live there. A deliberate omission might be non-
payment of rent that led to rent arrears and eviction.
Local connection and referrals to another authority
18. Broadly speaking, for the purpose of the homelessness legislation, people may have a
local connection with a district because of residence, employment or family associations
in the district, or because of special circumstances. (There are exceptions, for example
residence in a district while serving a prison sentence there does not establish a local
connection.) Where applicants are found to be eligible for assistance, unintentionally
homeless and in priority need (i.e. they meet the criteria for the main homelessness duty)
and the authority consider the applicant does not have a local connection with the district
but does have one somewhere else, the housing authority dealing with the application can
ask the housing authority in that other district to take responsibility for the case. However,
applicants cannot be referred to another housing authority if they, or any member of their
household, would be at risk of violence in the district of the other authority.
Other homelessness duties
19. If applicants are homeless but do not have a priority need, or if they have brought
homelessness on themselves, the housing authority must ensure that they are provided
with advice and assistance to help them find accommodation for themselves – but the
authority does not have to ensure that accommodation becomes available for them. The
housing authority can provide advice and assistance itself or arrange for another agency
to do this. The housing authority must ensure that this includes a proper assessment of
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
10

their housing needs and information about where they are likely to find suitable
accommodation. Again, it will be crucial that the advice and assistance is effective and
up to date if the housing authority’s strategic aim of preventing homelessness is to be
achieved.
20. Where people have a priority need but have brought homelessness on themselves, the
housing authority must also ensure they have suitable accommodation available for a
period that will give them a reasonable chance of finding accommodation for themselves.
Sometimes, this may be for only a few weeks.
Intentionally homeless families with children
21. So, families with children who have been found intentionally homeless will not be owed
a main homelessness duty; they will be entitled to advice and assistance and temporary
accommodation for a short period only. If homelessness persists, any children in the
family could be in need and the family could seek assistance from the social services
authority under the Children Act 1989. It is therefore important that social services are
made aware of such cases as soon as possible. Consequently, where a housing authority
are dealing with a family that includes a child under 18 and they consider the family may
be found intentionally homeless, they must make social services aware of the case.
Where the family are found to be intentionally homeless by the housing authority, and
social services decide the child’s needs would best be met by helping the family to obtain
accommodation, social services can ask the housing authority for reasonable assistance
and the housing authority must respond.
Notifications/reviews of decisions/appeals to county court
22. Where authorities have reason to believe an applicant may be homeless or threatened
with homelessness and make inquiries into the casethey must give the applicant written
notification of their decision on the case, and the reasons for it insofar as it goes against
the applicant’s interests. Applicants can ask the housing authority to review most aspects
of their decisions, and, if still dissatisfied, can appeal to the county court on a point of
law. The county court can confirm or quash a housing authority’s decision.
Power to accommodate pending a review or appeal
23. Housing authorities have the power to accommodate applicants pending a review or
appeal to the county court, and they must consider whether to exercise this power in all
cases. If the housing authority decide not to exercise this power pending a review, and the
applicant wishes to appeal to the courts, he or she would need to seek permission to ask
the High Court to judicially review the decision. If the housing authority decide not to
exercise this power pending an appeal to the county court, the applicant can appeal to the
county court to review the decision not to accommodate, and the court can require the
housing authority to accommodate the applicant, pending the appeal on the substantive
homelessness decision if the court considers this is necessary.
11
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

INTRODUCTION
PURPOSE OF THE CODE
1.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is issuing this Code of
Guidance to local housing authorities (referred to as housing authorities) in England
under s.182 of the Housing Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”). Under s.182(1) of the 1996 Act,
housing authorities are required to have regard to this guidance in exercising their
functions under Part 7 of the 1996 Act and under the Homelessness Act 2002 (“the 2002
Act”). This Code of Guidance replaces the previous version published in 2002. 
2.
Under s.182(1), social services authorities in England are also required to have regard to
the guidance when exercising their functions relating to homelessness and the prevention
of homelessness. The guidance applicable to social services authorities is issued jointly
with the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education and Skills. 
3.
The Code gives guidance on how local authorities should exercise their homelessness
functions and apply the various statutory criteria in practice. It is not a substitute for
legislation and in so far as it comments on the law can only reflect the Department’s
understanding at the time of issue. Local authorities will still need to keep up to date on
any developments in the law in these areas.
4.
In addition to this Code, there is issued a range of good practice publications to assist
local authorities in exercising their functions relating to homelessness and the prevention
of homelessness (see Annex 1).
WHO IS THE CODE FOR?
5.
The Code is issued specifically for local authority members and staff. It is also of direct
relevance to registered social landlords (RSLs). RSLs have a duty under the 1996 Act to
co-operate with housing authorities in exercising their homelessness functions. RSLs are
subject to the Housing Corporation’s Regulatory Code and guidance and they need to
take this into account when assisting housing authorities. Many of the activities discussed
in the Code require joint planning and operational co-operation between housing
authorities and social services authorities, health authorities, other referral agencies,
voluntary sector organisations and the diverse range of bodies working in the rented
sectors – so the Code is also relevant to these agencies.
THE HOMELESSNESS LEGISLATION
6.
Part 7 of the 1996 Act sets out the powers and duties of housing authorities where people
apply to them for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation. The 2002
Act places a requirement on housing authorities to formulate and publish a homelessness
strategy based on a review of homelessness in their district. The 2002 Act also amends a
number of provisions in Part 7 of the 1996 Act to strengthen the safety net for vulnerable
people. 
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
12

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
7.
When exercising their functions relating to homelessness and the prevention of
homelessness, local authorities are under a statutory duty to ensure that their polices and
procedures do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, on grounds of race, sex or gender,
or disability. Authorities should also ensure that their policies and procedures do not
discriminate on the basis of any other ground which is not material to a person’s housing
application, including grounds of sexual orientation or religion or belief. Authorities
should observe relevant codes of practice and adopt a formal equality and diversity
policy relating to all aspects of their homelessness service, to ensure equality of access
and treatment for all applicants. Appropriate provision will need to be made to ensure
accessibility for people with particular needs, including those with mobility difficulties,
sight or hearing loss and learning difficulties, as well as those for whom English is not
their first language. 
8.
The Race Relations Act 1976 now places a general duty on local authorities to promote
race equality. This means that they must have due regard to the need to:
• eliminate unlawful racial discrimination; and
• promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of difference
racial groups.
In practice, this means building racial equality considerations into the day-to-day work of
policy-making, service delivery, employment practice and other functions. The duty is a
positive rather than a reactive one.
9.
There are also specific duties relating to policy and service delivery. One of these
concerns publishing a Race Equality Scheme every three years. Authorities’ Race
Equality Schemes should include their arrangements for:
• assessing and consulting on the likely impact of homelessness strategies on the
promotion of race equality;
• monitoring homelessness policies for any adverse impact on the promotion of
race equality;
• publishing the results of assessments, consultations and monitoring;
• ensuring access to homelessness information, advice and services.
The Commission for Racial Equality will publish a statutory Code of Practice on Racial
Equality in Housing later this year (see Annex 1).
13
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

10. People from ethnic minority groups are around three times more likely than other
households to be accepted as unintentionally homeless and in priority need1. Housing
authorities need to ensure that their homelessness strategies and homelessness services
pay particular attention to the needs of the ethnic minority communities they serve, for
example, by ensuring that advice and information about homelessness and the prevention
of homelessness is available in a range of ethnic languages appropriate to the district.
ODPM published a Development Guide for local authorities on Tackling Homelessness
Amongst Ethnic Minority Households 
(see Annex 1).
11. Section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (added by the Disability
Discrimination Act 2005) introduces a new duty to promote equality for disabled people.
It requires public authorities to exercise their functions with due regard to the need to:
• eliminate unlawful discrimination against disabled people;
• eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disabilities;
• promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other persons;
• take steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities (even where that involves
treating disabled people more favourably than other persons);
• promote positive attitudes towards disabled people; and
• encourage participation by disabled people in public life.
Authorities will be required to publish a Disability Equality Scheme every three years
setting out how they will implement the duty to promote equality in their own context.
As with the duty to promote race equality, this is a positive duty rather than a reactive
one and authorities will need to consider the implications for the delivery of their
homelessness services.
The Disability Rights Commission has published a statutory Code of Practice on the
Duty to Promote Disability Equality which will come into force in December 2006 (see
Annex 1).
12. Authorities should also inform themselves of the provisions of Council Directives
2000/43/EC (the Race Directive) and 2000 78/EC (the Equality Directive). Under the
Equalities Act 2006 the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will bring
together the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission
from October 2007. The Act imposes a positive duty on public authorities to promote
equality of opportunity and the elimination of discrimination on grounds of age; colour;
race, nationality or ethnic origins; disability; family status; gender reassignment; marital
status; pregnancy; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. Discrimination on any
1 Source: ODPM data based on the P1E statistical returns completed by local authorities.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
14

such grounds in the carrying out by a public authority of its functions would be made
unlawful. The Gender Recognition Act 2004, the Employment Equality (Sexual
Orientation) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 
and the Employment Equality (Religion or
Belief) Regulations 2003 
outlaw discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment,
sexual orientation or religion in the fields of employment and vocational training. In
addition, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations, which are due to come into force
in October 2006, will outlaw discrimination on the grounds of age in the fields of
employment and vocational training.
13. Housing authorities should ensure that their homelessness strategies and homelessness
services comply with existing equality and diversity legislation and new legislation as it
comes into force.
DEFINITIONS
Throughout the Code,
“the 1996 Act” means the Housing Act 1996;
“the 2002 Act” means the Homelessness Act 2002;
“the housing authority” means the local housing authority.
15
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

CHAPTER 1: HOMELESSNESS REVIEWS &
STRATEGIES
This chapter provides guidance on housing authorities’ duties to carry out a homelessness
review and to formulate and publish a strategy based on the results of that review.

DUTY TO FORMULATE A HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY
1.1.
Section 1(1) of the Homelessness Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) gives housing authorities
the power to carry out a homelessness review for their district and formulate and
publish a homelessness strategy based on the results of the review. This power can be
exercised from time to time, however s.1(3) required housing authorities to publish
their first homelessness strategy by 31 July 2003. Section 1(4) requires housing
authorities to publish a new homelessness strategy, based on the results of a further
homelessness review, within the period of five years beginning with the day on 
which their last homelessness strategy was published (there is an exemption from 
this requirement for local authorities categorised as an “excellent authority”, 
see paragraph 1.42). However, it is open to a housing authority to conduct
homelessness reviews and strategies more frequently, if they wish.
1.2.
For a homelessness strategy to be effective housing authorities need to ensure that it is
consistent with other local plans and strategies and takes into account any wider
relevant sub-regional or regional plans and strategies. There will be a lot of common
ground between an authority’s housing strategy (whether its own or a sub-regional one
produced with neighbouring authorities) and its homelessness strategy. It is open to
authorities to produce either separate housing and homelessness strategies or combine
these in a single document where it is consistent to do so. It is also open to authorities,
again where it would be consistent to do so, to consider producing a wider composite
plan that includes not only the housing and homelessness strategies but also their
Housing Revenue Account Business Plans and Home Energy Conservation Act report.
The homelessness strategy should also link with other strategies and programmes that
address the wide range of problems that can cause homelessness (see indicative list at
Annex 2). It will be important to consider how these strategies and programmes can
help achieve the objectives of the homelessness strategy and vice-versa.
1.3.
Housing authorities are encouraged to take a broad view and consider the benefits of
cross-boundary, sub-regional and regional co-operation. A county-wide approach will
be particularly important in non-unitary authorities, where housing and homelessness
services are provided by the district authority whilst other key services, such as social
services and Supporting People, are delivered at the county level. Housing authorities
should ensure that the homelessness strategy for their district forms part of a coherent
approach to tackling homelessness with neighbouring authorities. Authorities may
wish to collaborate with neighbouring housing authorities to produce a joint
homelessness strategy covering a sub-regional area. London boroughs are encouraged
to work closely with the Greater London Authority when formulating their
homelessness strategies.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
16

1.4.
When carrying out a review and formulating a strategy, housing authorities are
encouraged to refer to Homelessness Strategies: A good practice handbook, Local
Authorities’ Homelessness Strategies: Evaluation and Good Practice 
and other
relevant good practice documents published by the Office of the Deputy Prime
Minister (see list of publications at Annex 1).
1.5.
Housing authorities are reminded that when drawing up their strategies for preventing
and tackling homelessness, they must consider the needs of all groups of people in
their district who are homeless or likely to become homeless, including Gypsies and
Travellers. Under s.225 of the Housing Act 2004, which supplements s.8 of the
Housing Act 1985, when undertaking a review of housing needs in their district, local
authorities are required to carry out an assessment of the accommodation needs of
Gypsies and Travellers residing in or resorting to their district. Draft guidance on
accommodation needs assessment for Gypsies and Travellers is available on the
DCLG website, and will be finalised after further consultation in 2006.
Assistance from social services
1.6.
In non-unitary districts, where the social services authority and the housing authority
are different authorities, section 1(2) of the 2002 Act requires the social services
authority to give the housing authority such assistance as may be reasonably required
in carrying out a homelessness review and formulating and publishing a homelessness
strategy. Since a number of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
will require social services support, it is unlikely that it would be possible for a
housing authority to formulate an effective homelessness strategy without
assistance from the social services authority. It will be necessary therefore in all
cases for housing authorities to seek assistance from the social services authority.
In unitary authorities the authority will need to ensure that the social services
department assists the housing department in carrying out a homelessness review and
formulating and publishing a homelessness strategy.
1.7.
The social services authority must comply with all requests for assistance from
housing authorities within their district which are reasonable. Examples of the type of
assistance that a housing authority may reasonably require from the social services
authority when carrying out a review and formulating a strategy may include:
• information about current and likely future numbers of social services client groups
who are likely to be homeless or at risk of homelessness e.g. young people in need,
care leavers and those with community care needs;
• details of social services’ current programme of activity, and the resources available
to them, for meeting the accommodation needs of these groups;
• details of social services’ current programme of activity, and the resources available
to them, for providing support for vulnerable people who are homeless or likely to
become homeless (and who may not currently be social services clients).
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1.8.
Effective co-operation will benefit both housing and social services authorities. See
Chapter 5 for guidance on joint working with other agencies and Chapter 13 for
guidance on co-operation in cases involving children.
Taking the strategy into account
1.9.
Sections 1(5) and (6) of the 2002 Act require housing and social services authorities
to take the homelessness strategy into account when exercising their functions.
1.10. For a homelessness strategy to be effective it will need to be based on realistic
assumptions about how it will be delivered in practice. Whilst this will apply in
respect of all the agencies and organisations involved, the key players will be the
housing authority and the social services authority. Both authorities will therefore
need to ensure that, on the one hand, the assumptions in the strategy about their future
activities are realistic and, on the other, that in practice these activities are actually
delivered through the operation of their statutory functions. When the strategy is
formulated, the social services authority (or social services department within a
unitary authority) will need to work closely with the housing authority (or department)
to ensure that this can be achieved. All contributors will need to take ownership of the
strategy if it is to be effective. Again, because of its crucial role in delivering the
strategy, this will be particularly important in the case of the social services authority
(or department).
HOMELESSNESS REVIEWS
1.11. Under section 2(1) of the 2002 Act a homelessness review means a review by a
housing authority of:
a) the levels, and likely future levels, of homelessness in their district;
b) the activities which are carried out for any the following purposes (or which
contribute to achieving any of them):
i) preventing homelessness in the housing authority’s district;
ii) securing that accommodation is or will be available for people in the
district who are or may become homeless; and
iii) providing support for people in the district:
– who are or may become homeless; or
– who have been homeless and need support to prevent them becoming
homeless again;
c) the resources available to the housing authority, the social services authority for
the district, other public authorities, voluntary organisations and other persons for
the activities outlined in (b) above.
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18

1.12. The purpose of the review is to establish the extent of homelessness in the district,
assess its likely extent in the future, and identify what is currently being done, and by
whom, and what level of resources are available, to prevent and tackle homelessness.
a) current levels, and likely future levels, of homelessness
1.13. Homelessness is defined by sections 175 to 178 of the 1996 Act (see Chapter 8 for
guidance). The review must take account of all forms of homelessness within the
meaning of the 1996 Act, not just people who are unintentionally homeless and have a
priority need for accommodation under Part 7. The review should therefore consider a
wide population of households who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including
those who might be more difficult to identify, including people sleeping rough, or
those whose accommodation circumstances make them more likely than others to
become homeless or to resort to sleeping rough.
1.14. The housing authority’s own records of its activity under the homelessness legislation
(Part 7 of the 1996 Act) will provide a baseline for assessing the number of people
who are likely to become homeless and seek help directly from the housing authority.
These records should give some indication as to why those accepted as statutorily
homeless became homeless. Other useful sources of data on potential homelessness in
the district may include:
• records on rough sleeping;
• estimates of people staying with friends/family on an insecure basis;
• court records on possession orders;
• records of evictions by the local authority and registered social landlords (RSLs);
• local advice service records on homelessness cases;
• hospital records of people homeless on discharge;
• armed forces records of those homeless on discharge;
• prison/probation service records of ex-prisoners homeless on discharge;
• social services records of homeless families with children;
• social services records of young people leaving care and children in need requiring
accommodation;
• records of Supporting People clients;
• records available from hostels and refuges;
• voluntary sector records, e.g. day centres, advice services;
• records of asylum seekers being accommodated in the district by the National
Asylum Support Service;
• data from the national population census and housing authorities’ own household
surveys.
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

1.15. Some groups of people are likely to be more at risk of homelessness than others.
These may include:
• young people who have become estranged from their family; have been in care;
have a history of abuse, running away or school exclusions; or whose parents have
had mental health, alcohol or drug problems; (see chapter 12)
• people from ethnic minority groups;
• people with an institutionalised background, for example where they have spent
time in prison or the armed forces;
• former asylum seekers who have been given permission to stay in the UK and are
no longer being accommodated by the National Asylum Support Service;
• people who have experienced other problems that may increase the risk of
homelessness including family/relationship breakdowns; domestic, racial or other
violence; poor mental or physical health; drug and alcohol abuse; age-related
problems and debt.
1.16. As part of the process of mapping and understanding the extent of current
homelessness in the district, housing authorities may wish to develop a profile of
those who have experienced homelessness. Elements within a profile may include:
• location of homelessness;
• reason(s) for homelessness;
• housing history including previous tenures and length of homelessness;
• ethnic background;
• other background (e.g. care provided by the local authority or other institution);
• age;
• gender and sexuality;
• disabilities;
• levels and types of debts;
• employment/benefits history;
• composition of household;
• vulnerability of applicant (or household members);
• support needs (housing-related or other);
• health/drug problems;
• immigration status;
• trends in any of these elements.
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20

1.17. Housing authorities will also need to consider the range of factors which could affect
future levels of homelessness in their district. Many of these will be similar to factors
taken into account for the purpose of assessing housing needs in the district (e.g. as
part of a broader housing strategy). Relevant factors in the district may include:
• the availability of affordable accommodation including housing provided by the
housing authority and by RSLs;
• housing market analyses, including property prices and rent levels;
• the supply of accommodation in the private rented sector;
• the provision and effectiveness of housing advice;
• local voluntary and community sector services;
• the allocation policy of the housing authority;
• the lettings policies of RSLs;
• the effectiveness of nomination agreements between the housing authority
and RSLs;
• the policy of the housing authority and RSLs on management of tenants’ rent
arrears and on seeking repossession;
• the efficiency of the housing authority’s administration of housing benefit;
• the provision and effectiveness of housing-related support services;
• redevelopment and regeneration activity;
• unemployment;
• strength of the local economy;
• the local population (and demographic trends);
• the level of overcrowding;
• the rate of new household formation in the district;
• the level of inward migration (both national and international);
• the flow of itinerant population (i.e. Gypsies and Travellers) and availability of
authorised sites;
• the number of people likely to be in housing need on leaving:
– the armed forces,
– residential care,
– local authority care,
– prison,
– hospital or
– accommodation provided by the National Asylum Support Service.
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

1.18. Individual cases of homelessness are often the result of a complex matrix of problems
that may develop over time. In many cases homelessness may be triggered by
individual circumstances (for example, relationship breakdown or unemployment) but
it can also be the result of a failure in the housing market (for example, high rents in
the private sector and a shortage of accommodation in the social sector) or a failure of
the administrative system (for example, delays in the payment of housing benefit). In
districts where the housing market and administrative systems are functioning well,
the levels of homelessness are likely to be lower. All these factors will need to be
taken into account when assessing the likely future levels of homelessness in the
district.
b) activities which are carried out
1.19. The public, private and voluntary sectors can all contribute, directly or indirectly, to
the prevention of homelessness, the provision of accommodation and the provision of
support for homeless people. When reviewing the activities which are being carried
out for these purposes, the housing authority should consider the activities of all the
various agencies and organisations, across all sectors, which are providing, or
contributing to the provision of accommodation, support or relevant services in the
district (Annex 3 provides an indicative list).
1.20. Having mapped all the current activities, the housing authority should consider
whether these are appropriate and adequate to meet the aims of the strategy, and
whether any changes or additional provision are needed.
Preventing homelessness
1.21. Gaining a good understanding of the causes of homelessness during the homelessness
review process will help to inform the range of preventative measures that need to be
put in place. Many statutory and non-statutory services can contribute to preventing
homelessness. Housing authorities should adopt an open approach and recognise that
there will be a broad range of organisations operating in fields other than housing,
including, for example, health, education and employment, whose activities may help
to prevent homelessness. Activities that contribute to preventing homelessness may
include:
• advice services;
• mediation and reconciliation services;
• tenancy support schemes;
• proactive liaison with private sector landlords;
• rent deposit/guarantee schemes;
• management of social housing by the housing authority and by RSLs;
• debt counselling;
• Supporting People programme;
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22

• social services support for vulnerable people;
• housing benefit administration;
• benefit liaison to young people delivered through Connexions;
• ‘Sanctuary Schemes’ to enable victims of domestic violence to stay in their homes;
• planning for the housing needs of people leaving institutions – e.g. local authority
care, prison and the armed services.
Further guidance on preventing homelessness is provided in Chapter 2.
Securing accommodation
1.22. Housing authorities need to consider that a range of accommodation is likely to be
required for people who are, or may become, homeless. Landlords, accommodation
providers and housing developers across all sectors can contribute to the provision of
accommodation in the district. Activities that contribute to securing that
accommodation will be available for people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming
homeless, may include:
• initiatives to increase the supply of new affordable accommodation in the district
(e.g.: affordable housing secured through the planning system);
• provision of new housing for owner occupation;
• initiatives to increase the supply of specialist and/or supported accommodation;
• provision of accommodation from the housing authority’s own stock;
• the proportion of lettings RSLs make available to the housing authority and to
homeless people generally;
• programmes for the provision of hostel, foyer and refuge spaces;
• initiatives for maximising use of the private rented sector (e.g. rent deposit
guarantee schemes and landlord/tenant mediation services);
• schemes for maximising access to affordable accommodation (e.g. rent guarantee
schemes);
• local, regional and national mobility schemes (e.g. to assist tenants or homeless
households to move to other areas, incentives to reduce under-occupation, and
assistance to move into home ownership).
Further guidance on ensuring a sufficient supply of accommodation is provided in
Chapter 3.
Providing support
1.23. As part of the review housing authorities should consider all the current activities
which contribute to the provision of support for people in the district who are, or may
become, homeless and people in the district who have been homeless and need
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support to prevent them becoming homeless again. The range of providers whose
activities will be making a contribution to this area are likely to embrace the public,
private and voluntary sectors.
1.24. As a starting point, the housing authority may wish to consider the level of services
being provided under the Supporting People programme. Other activities which may
be relevant are:
• social services support under the community care programme;
• social services support for children in need who require accommodation;
• social services support for young people at risk;
• housing advice services;
• tenancy support services;
• schemes which offer practical support for formerly homeless people (e.g. furniture
schemes);
• day centres for homeless people;
• supported hostel provision;
• women’s refuges;
• support for people to access health care services (e.g. registration with a 
GP practice);
• support for people with problems of alcohol or substance abuse;
• support for people with mental health problems;
• support for people with learning disabilities;
• support for people seeking employment, e.g. personal adviser through Connexions,
Jobcentre Plus, voluntary sector organisations dealing with homelessness and
worklessness;
• advocacy support.
Further guidance on securing support services is provided in Chapter 4.
c) resources available for activities
1.25. As part of the homelessness review, the housing authority should consider the
resources available for the activities set out in paragraph 1.11. The housing authority
should consider not only its own resources (i.e. housing funding whether provided by
central government or from authorities’ own sources) but also those available for these
purposes to the social services authority for their district, other public authorities,
voluntary organisations and other persons. Annex 3 provides an indicative list of other
authorities, organisations and persons whose activities may contribute to preventing
and tackling homelessness.
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24

Preventing homelessness
1.26. Housing authorities should invest their own resources in prevention services and
measures since these are likely to produce direct net savings for the authority, for
example through reduced processing of repeat homelessness applications, lower use of
temporary accommodation and fewer social services interventions. Resources
allocated to preventing homelessness will also help to reduce pressures on wider
services, such as housing, health and employment, in the longer-term.
1.27. Resources available for the prevention of homelessness may include:
• staff or administrative budgets and resources available to the housing authority (e.g.
related to the homeless persons unit, the housing advice service, the Supporting
People programme, tenancy support etc.);
• the resources allocated within the housing authority for rent guarantee schemes and
other preventative measures;
• the availability and quality of housing and homelessness advice in the district (e.g.
number and location of advice centres);
• staff or administrative budgets and resources within other public bodies (e.g. social
services authority, Primary Care Trust, local education authority) dedicated to
activities that help prevent/tackle homelessness; and
• staff or administrative budgets and resources available to other agencies working to
prevent homelessness in the district (e.g. housing advice services in the voluntary
sector and agencies working with young people).
Securing accommodation
1.28. Resources available for securing that accommodation is, or will be, available
may include:
• initiatives to increase the supply of new affordable accommodation in the district
(e.g. bids for resources through the Regional Housing Strategy and Housing
Corporation Approved Development Programme, cash incentive schemes,
affordable housing secured through the planning system, other RSL developments,
Private Finance Initiative or regeneration developments, self-funded developments,
self build schemes, shared ownership schemes, Homebuy);
• initiatives to increase the supply of specialist and/or supported accommodation;
• staff or administrative budgets and resources to make better use of the existing
social housing stock (e.g. working with RSLs, managing own housing stock,
mobility schemes);
• staff or administrative budgets and resources for maximising use of the private
rented sector (e.g. landlord fora and accreditation schemes, rent deposit/guarantee
schemes);
• initiatives to enable people to remain in their homes (e.g. through housing renewal
assistance and disabled facilities grants).
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

Providing Support
1.29. Resources available for providing support may include:
• staff or administrative budgets and resources available through the Supporting
People programme;
• other staff or administrative budgets and resources available to the housing
authority, for example through general fund expenditure or the Housing Revenue
Account;
• staff or administrative budgets and resources available to the social services
authority (e.g. personnel working to meet the support needs of homeless people);
• staff or administrative budgets and resources available to other public authorities
and voluntary and community sector agencies (e.g. Primary Care Trusts, Drug
Action Teams, Sure Start, Connexions and others listed at Annex 3); and
• availability of supported accommodation units and floating support for homeless
people.
Results of the review
1.30. Having completed a homelessness review, housing authorities must arrange for a copy
of the results of the review to be made available at their principal office; these must be
available to the public for inspection at all reasonable hours without charge. A copy of
the results must also be made available to any member of the public, on request (for
which a reasonable charge can be made).
HOMELESSNESS STRATEGIES
1.31. Having carried out a homelessness review the housing authority will be in a position
to formulate its homelessness strategy based on the results of that review as required
by s.1(1)(b) of the 2002 Act. In formulating its strategy a housing authority will need
to consider the necessary levels of activity required to achieve the aims set out in the
paragraph below and the sufficiency of the resources available to them as revealed by
the review.
1.32. Under s.3(1) of the 2002 Act a homelessness strategy means a strategy for:
i)
preventing homelessness in the district (see Chapter 2 for further guidance);
ii) securing that sufficient accommodation is and will be available for people in the
district who are or may become homeless (see Chapter 3 for further guidance);
iii) securing the satisfactory provision of support for people in the district who are or
may become homeless or who have been homeless and need support to prevent
them becoming homeless again (see Chapter 4 for further guidance).
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26

Specific objectives and actions for housing and social
services authorities

1.33. A homelessness strategy may include specific objectives to be achieved and actions
planned to be taken in the course of the exercise of the functions of the housing
authority and the social services authority. This will apply equally in areas where the
social services authority is not also the housing authority (for example, in district
councils in county areas). Examples of specific objectives and actions for housing and
social services authorities that might be included in a strategy are set out in Annex 4.
Specific action by others
1.34. A homelessness strategy can also include specific action which the housing authority
expects to be taken by:
i)
other public authorities;
ii) voluntary organisations; and
iii) other persons whose activities could contribute to achieving the strategy’s
objectives.
1.35. In all housing authority districts there will be a significant number of agencies whose
activities address the wide range of needs and problems that can be linked to
homelessness. These will be found across all sectors: public, private and voluntary.
Housing authorities will need to seek the participation of all relevant agencies in the
district in order to assist them in formulating and delivering an effective homelessness
strategy that includes specific action that the housing authority expects to be taken
by others.
1.36. In particular, housing authorities should enter into constructive partnerships with
RSLs operating in their district. See Annex 5 for guidance on co-operation between
housing authorities and RSLs.
1.37. An indicative list of the other public authorities, voluntary organisations and persons
whose activities could contribute to achieving the strategy’s objectives is at Annex 3.
However, s.3(4) provides that a housing authority cannot include in a homelessness
strategy any specific action expected to be taken by another body or organisation
without their approval.
1.38. Examples of specific action that the housing authority might expect to be taken by
others are provided at Annex 6.
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Joint action
1.39. Section 3(5) of the 2002 Act requires housing authorities, when formulating a
homelessness strategy, to consider (among other things) the extent to which any of the
strategy’s objectives could be achieved through joint action involving two or more of
the persons or other bodies tackling homelessness in the district. This could include
the housing authority, the social services authority, neighbouring housing authorities
and any other public bodies working to alleviate homelessness within the district, for
example, the National Offender Management Service. It might also include any other
organisation or person whose activities could contribute to achieving the objectives of
the homelessness strategy, for example, voluntary sector organisations working with
homeless people, registered social landlords, and private landlords. The most effective
strategies will be those which harness the potential of all the organisations and persons
working to prevent and alleviate homelessness in the district, and which ensure that all
the activities concerned are consistent and complementary. It will be important for all
such organisations to take ownership of the strategy if they strive 
to help meet its objectives. See Chapter 5 for guidance on joint working with 
other agencies.
Action plans
1.40. As part of the homelessness strategy housing authorities should develop effective
action plans, to help ensure that the objectives set out in the homelessness strategy are
achieved. Action plans could include, for example, targets, milestones and
arrangements for monitoring and evaluation. Good practice guidance on developing
action plans is provided in the ODPM publication ‘Local Authorities’ Homelessness
Strategies: Evaluation and Good Practice (2004)’
.
Need to consult on a strategy
1.41. Housing authorities must consult such public or local authorities, voluntary
organisations or other persons as they consider appropriate before adopting or
modifying a homelessness strategy. For a strategy to be effective it will need to
involve every organisation and partnership whose activities contribute, or could
contribute, in some way to achieving its objectives. As a minimum, therefore, it will
be appropriate for all such organisations to be consulted on the strategy before it is
adopted. It will be important to consult service users and homeless people themselves,
or organisations representing their interests. Consultation with ethnic minority and
faith-based groups will also be important in addressing the disproportionate
representation of people from ethnic minority communities amongst homeless
households. Annex 3 provides an indicative list of the types of authorities, organisations
and people that the housing authority may wish to consult about a strategy.
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28

Publishing a strategy
1.42. Under s.1(3) of the 2002 Act, housing authorities were required to publish their first
homelessness strategy by 31 July 2003. Section 1(4) requires housing authorities to
publish a new homelessness strategy, based on the results of a further homelessness
review, within the period of five years beginning with the day on which their last
homelessness strategy was published. However, those authorities which are
categorised as an “excellent authority” by the Secretary of State by virtue of the Local
Authorities’ Plans and Strategies (Disapplication) (England) Order 2005 
are exempt
from this requirement. Housing authorities must make a copy of the strategy available
to the public at their principal office, and this is to be available for inspection at all
reasonable hours without charge. A copy must also be made available to any member
of the public, on request (for which a reasonable charge can be made).
Keeping a strategy under review and modifying it
1.43. Housing authorities must keep their homelessness strategy under review and may
modify it from time to time. Before modifying the strategy, they must consult on the
same basis as required before adopting a strategy (see paragraph 1.41). If a strategy is
modified, the housing authority must publish the modifications or the modified
strategy and make copies available to the public on the same basis as required when
adopting a strategy (see paragraph 1.42).
1.44. Circumstances that might prompt modification of a homelessness strategy include:
transfer of the housing authority’s housing stock to an RSL; the setting up of an Arms
Length Management Organisation; a review of other, relevant local plans or strategies;
new data sources on homelessness becoming available; a significant change in the
levels or causes of homelessness; changes in either housing/homelessness/social
security policy or legislation, or new factors that could contribute to a change in the
levels or nature of homelessness in the district such as significant changes to the local
economy (e.g. housing markets or levels of employment).
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CHAPTER 2: PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS
2.1.
This chapter provides guidance on housing authorities’ duties to have a strategy
to prevent homelessness in their district and to ensure that advice and
information about homelessness, and the prevention of homelessness, are
available free of charge to anyone in their district. The chapter also provides some
examples of the action housing authorities and their partners can take to tackle
the more common causes of homelessness and to prevent homelessness recurring.

2.2.
Preventing homelessness means providing people with the ways and means to meet
their housing, and any housing-related support, needs in order to avoid experiencing
homelessness. Effective prevention will enable a person to remain in their current
home, where appropriate, to delay a need to move out of current accommodation so
that a move into alternative accommodation can be planned in a timely way; to find
alternative accommodation, or to sustain independent living.
2.3.
The prevention of homelessness should be a key strategic aim which housing
authorities and other partners pursue through the homelessness strategy. It is vital that
individuals are encouraged to seek assistance at the earliest possible time when
experiencing difficulties which may lead to homelessness. In many cases early,
effective intervention can prevent homelessness occurring. Housing authorities are
reminded that they must not avoid their obligations under Part 7 of the 1996 Act
(including the duty to make inquiries under s.184, if they have reason to believe that
an applicant may be homeless or threatened with homelessness), but it is open to them
to suggest alternative solutions in cases of potential homelessness where these would
be appropriate and acceptable to the applicant.
2.4.
The Secretary of State considers that housing authorities should take steps to prevent
homelessness wherever possible, offering a broad range of advice and assistance for
those in housing need. It is also important that, where homelessness does occur and is
being tackled, consideration is given to the factors which may cause repeat
homelessness and action taken to prevent homelessness recurring.
2.5.
Homelessness can have significant negative consequences for the people who
experience it. At a personal level, homelessness can have a profound impact on health,
education and employment prospects. At a social level, homelessness can impact on
social cohesion and economic participation. Early intervention to prevent
homelessness can therefore bring benefits for those concerned, including being
engaged with essential services and increasing the likelihood that children will live in
a more secure environment. Investment in prevention services can also produce direct
cost savings for local authorities, for example through lower use of temporary
accommodation and fewer social services interventions. Furthermore, measures to
prevent homelessness will also help to reduce longer-term pressures on wider
services, such as health and employment.
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30

2.6.
There are three stages where intervention can prevent homelessness:
early identification – by identifying categories of people who are at risk of
homelessness and ensuring that accommodation and any necessary support are
available to them in time to prevent homelessness. Early identification can target
people who fall within known indicator groups (e.g. those leaving local authority care,
prison, secure accommodation or the armed forces, or people at known or observed
risk due to mental or physical health problems) even though they may not currently
have a need for housing but for whom timely intervention can avoid homelessness
when they leave their institutional environment and before they reach a crisis point;
pre-crisis intervention – this can take the form of: advice services and proactive
intervention such as negotiation with landlords to enable people to retain their current
tenancies. Such intervention is important even if it only delays the date when a person
has to leave their home, as this may allow time to plan and manage a move to
alternative accommodation;
preventing recurring homelessness – ensuring tenancy sustainment can be central to
preventing repeat homelessness where there is an underlying need for support and the
provision of accommodation by itself is insufficient to prevent homelessness.
STRATEGY TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS
2.7.
Under s.1 of the 2002 Act, local housing authorities must formulate and publish a
homelessness strategy based on a review of homelessness for their district, and they
must take the strategy into account when exercising their functions. (See Chapter 1 for
guidance.) Under section 3(1)(a) of the 2002 Act a homelessness strategy must
include, among other things, a strategy for preventing homelessness in the district.
Gaining a thorough understanding of the causes of homelessness in a local area
through the review process will help to inform the range of measures required to
prevent homelessness. As part of the review, housing authorities must consider all the
current activities in their area that contribute to the prevention of homelessness. They
must also consider the resources available. Both activities and resources are likely to
involve a wide range of providers working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
2.8.
In developing their homelessness strategies, housing authorities should consider the
range of measures that need to be put in place to prevent homelessness. These will
depend on local circumstances. Housing authorities are advised to adopt an open
approach and recognise that there will be a broad range of organisations operating in
fields other than housing, for example, in education, health and employment, whose
activities may help to prevent homelessness. (See Chapter 1 for further guidance on
carrying out a homelessness review and formulating a homelessness strategy).
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ADVICE AND INFORMATION ABOUT HOMELESSNESS AND THE
PREVENTION OF HOMELESSNESS

2.9.
Under s.179(1) of the 1996 Act, housing authorities have a duty to secure that advice
and information about homelessness, and the prevention of homelessness, are
available free of charge to any person in their district. The provision of comprehensive
advice will play an important part in delivering the housing authority’s strategy for
preventing homelessness in their district.
2.10. There is an enormous variety of reasons why people become homeless or find
themselves threatened with homelessness. And, in many cases, there can be multiple
reasons, and a complex chain of circumstances, that lead to homelessness. Some of
these may relate to the housing market, for example, high rents and a shortage of
affordable accommodation in the area, or to administrative systems, for example
delays in the payment of benefits. Others may relate to personal circumstances, for
example, relationship breakdown, a bereavement, long-term or acute ill health or loss
of employment. The provision of advice and information to those at risk of
homelessness will need to reflect this. It will need to be wide-ranging and
comprehensive in its coverage and may require a full multi-disciplinary assessment.
2.11. Many people who face the potential loss of their current home will be seeking
practical advice and assistance to help them remain in their accommodation or secure
alternative accommodation. Some may be seeking to apply for assistance under the
homelessness legislation without being aware of other options that could help them to
secure accommodation. Advice services should provide information on the range of
housing options that are available in the district. This might include options to enable
people to stay in their existing accommodation, delay homelessness for long enough to
allow a planned move, or access alternative accommodation in the private or social
sectors. This ‘housing options’ approach is central to addressing housing need as a
means of preventing homelessness.
2.12. Advice on the following issues may help to prevent homelessness:
• tenants’ rights and rights of occupation;
• leaseholders’ rights and service charges;
• what to do about harassment and illegal eviction;
• how to deal with possession proceedings;
• rights to benefits (e.g. housing benefit) including assistance with making claims
as required;
• current rent levels;
• how to retrieve rent deposits;
• rent and mortgage arrears;
• how to manage debt;
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• grants available for housing repair and/or adaptation;
• how to obtain accommodation in the private rented sector – e.g. details of landlords
and letting agents within the district, including any accreditation schemes, and
information on rent guarantee and deposit schemes;
• how to apply for an allocation of accommodation through the social housing
waiting list or choice-based lettings scheme;
• how to apply to other social landlords for accommodation.
The advisory service might also include an advocacy service, which may include
providing legal representation for people facing the loss of their home.
2.13. Housing authorities will need to ensure that the implications and likely outcomes of
the available housing options are made clear to all applicants, including the distinction
between having priority need for accommodation under Part 7 and having priority for
an allocation of social housing under Part 6. 
2.14. Advice services will need to be effectively linked to other relevant statutory and non-
statutory service providers. As noted in paragraph 2.10 above, it is often a
combination of factors that lead to homelessness, and housing authorities are advised
to ensure that people who require advice of a wider or more specialist nature, for
example, to address family and relationship breakdown, mental or physical health
problems, drug and alcohol abuse, or worklessness are directed to other agencies who
can provide the service they need. In situations where there is a history of child abuse
or where there are child protection concerns, homelessness and housing organisations
will need to work closely with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
2.15. The effectiveness of authorities’ housing advice in preventing homelessness or the
threat of homelessness is measured by Best Value Performance Indicator BVPI 213.
Guidance on BVPI 213 is available at www.communities.gov.uk.
Accessibility
2.16. It is recommended that advisory services are well publicised and accessible to
everyone in the district. Appropriate provision will need to be made to ensure
accessibility for people with particular needs, including those with mobility
difficulties, sight or hearing loss and learning difficulties, as well as those for whom
English is not their first language.
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Who provides the advice and information?
2.17. The legislation does not specify how housing authorities should ensure that advice and
information on homelessness and the prevention of homelessness are made available.
They could do this in a number of ways, for example:
i)
provide the service themselves;
ii) ensure that it is provided by another organisation; or
iii) ensure that it is provided in partnership with another organisation.
2.18. The housing authority must ensure that the service is free of charge and available and
accessible to everyone in their district. Securing the provision of an independent
advisory service may help to avoid conflicts of interest. Private sector tenants may not
naturally look to the housing authority for advice. Some young people may be
reluctant to approach a statutory authority for advice, but they may feel more at ease
in dealing with a more informal advisory service provided by the voluntary sector.
People from different ethnic minority groups might also find advice more accessible if
it is delivered through community or faith organisations. (See Chapter 21 for guidance
on contracting out homelessness functions).
2.19. Under s.179(2), housing authorities may give grants or loans to other persons who are
providing advice and information about homelessness and the prevention of
homelessness on behalf of the housing authority. Under s.179(3), housing authorities
may also assist such persons (e.g. voluntary organisations) by:
i)
allowing them to use premises belonging to the housing authority,
ii) making available furniture or other goods, by way of gift, loan or some other
arrangement, and
iii) making available the services of staff employed by the housing authority.
Standards of advice
2.20. Housing authorities should ensure that information provided is current, accurate and
appropriate to the individual’s circumstances. To ensure they are providing an effective
service to a high standard, housing authorities may wish to refer to the quality
assurance systems applied by the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux,
the Shelter network of housing advice centres, the National Disabled Housing
Services Ltd (HoDis) accreditation scheme and the Community Legal Service Quality
Mark. Housing authorities are also advised to monitor the provision of advisory
services to ensure they continue to meet the needs of all sections of the community
and help deliver the aims of their homelessness strategy.
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PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES
2.21. Some groups of people are likely to be more at risk of homelessness than others.
These may include:
• young people who have become estranged from their family; have been in care
and/or secure accommodation; have a history of abuse, running away or school
exclusions; or whose parents have had mental health, alcohol or drug problems (see
Chapter 12 for further guidance on 16 and 17 year olds);
• people from ethnic minority groups;
• people with an institutionalised background, for example where they have spent
time in care, in prison or in the armed forces;
• former asylum seekers who have been given permission to stay in the UK and are
no longer being accommodated by the National Asylum Support Service;
• people who have experienced other problems that may increase the risk of
homelessness including family/relationship breakdowns; domestic, racial or other
violence; poor mental or physical health; drug and alcohol misuse; age-related
problems and debt.
2.22. In many cases homelessness can be prevented by identifying people who are in
circumstances which put them at risk of homelessness, and by providing services
which can enable them to remain in their current home. Homelessness can also be
prevented by ensuring assistance is available at known risk points such as discharge
from prison or hospital. Table 2.1 below gives examples of some of the measures that
may help tackle some of the more common causes of homelessness. More detailed
guidance is provided in Annex 7.
2.23. Housing authorities should also work with housing providers to encourage them to
seek to maintain and sustain tenancies by employing effective strategies for the
prevention and management of rent arrears. Landlords should be encouraged to make
early and personal contact with tenants in arrears and to assess whether there are any
additional support needs and, where relevant, to establish that all benefits to which
tenants are entitled are being claimed. Landlords should offer assistance and advice on
welfare benefits and in making a claim, debt counselling and money advice either in-
house or through a referral to an external agency and implement ways for recovering
the money such as debt management plans or attachment to benefits or earnings
orders. Possession action should only be taken as a last resort. See Annex 1 for ODPM
guidance on Improving the Effectiveness of Rent Arrears Management.
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Table 2.1: Tackling common causes of homelessness
Cause
Action
Parents, relatives or friends not being able or
Mediation services, usually contracted out
willing to provide accommodation
by local authority to, for example, Relate,
Youth Crime prevention and parenting
programmes.
Relationship breakdown, including domestic
‘Sanctuary’ schemes, which allow domestic
violence
violence victims to remain in their homes
where they choose to do so once security
measures are in place.
Discharge from an institutional situation e.g.
Early planning for discharge between
hospital, custody, residential treatment/care
institutional staff and local housing providers,
including assessing support needs.
Proactive provision of advice by local
housing authority on housing options (prior
to discharge).
End of assured shorthold tenancy
Housing advice. Rent deposit or bond
schemes to encourage landlords to let to
potentially homeless people. Landlord-tenant
mediation services, to resolve disputes
about behaviour or repairs.
Mortgage and rent arrears
Debt counselling. Advocacy services in
county court. Fast tracking housing benefit
claims.
Person ill-equipped to sustain a tenancy
Advice and support under the Supporting
People programme for vulnerable people at
risk of homelessness, for example improving
budgeting and ‘life’ skills.
Lack of information
Early and proactive intervention from local
authority homelessness services to discuss
options and offer assistance and advice.
PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS RECURRING
2.24. The underlying problems which led to homelessness in the first place have to be
addressed in order to provide long-term solutions. Failure to address these root
causes can lead to repeated episodes of homelessness. Recurring homelessness may
be indicative of problems that are not being resolved by the provision of
accommodation alone.
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36

2.25. An effective approach to tackling recurring homelessness is likely to be based on:
• effective monitoring that identifies housing applicants who are homeless or
threatened with homelessness and who have previously been secured
accommodation under the homelessness legislation (either by the same authority or
another authority in a different area);
• an analysis of the main causes of homelessness among housing applicants who
have experienced homelessness more than once; and
• the existence of support services (and, in particular, strong links with the local
Supporting People strategy and services) for housing applicants who have
experienced homelessness more than once, which tackle these causes and help the
applicants to sustain tenancies or other forms of settled accommodation in the
longer term.
2.26. Tenancy sustainment is central to preventing repeat homelessness and can include a
range of interventions. It is closely linked with good housing management and the
Supporting People programme. See Chapter 4 for further guidance on securing
support services and the housing-related support services that can be funded through
Supporting People.
2.27. Whilst tenancy sustainment is the eventual objective, there are some individuals who
may not be able to sustain accommodation due to personal circumstances, for example
mental health or substance misuse difficulties. Support will need to be provided to
progress towards the time when they are able to maintain accommodation.
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CHAPTER 3: ENSURING A SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF
ACCOMMODATION
3.1.
This chapter provides guidance on options available to housing authorities to help
increase the supply of new housing and maximise the use of the housing stock in
their district.

3.2.
Section 3(1)(b) of the Homelessness Act 2002 provides that a homelessness strategy is
a strategy for, amongst other things, securing that sufficient accommodation is and
will be available for people who are or may become homeless. Chapter 16 provides
guidance on the different ways in which housing authorities can ensure that suitable
accommodation is available for applicants, for example by providing the
accommodation themselves or by securing it from a private landlord or a registered
social landlord.
3.3.
Homelessness is significantly influenced by the availability of housing, and in
particular affordable housing. A shortage of affordable housing can lead to increasing
numbers of people being accommodated in temporary accommodation whilst waiting
for settled housing to bring the main homelessness duty to an end. ‘Settled housing’
in this context will primarily be social housing and good quality private sector
accommodation (see chapter 14 for further guidance on bringing the main
homelessness (s.193(2)) duty to an end.)
3.4.
Although, in 2005, over 80% of people living in temporary accommodation were in
self-contained homes they often lack certainty over how long they will live there. This
can cause disruption to their lives, make it hard for them to put roots down in the
community or to access important services. For example, they may face real
difficulties in gaining access to a local GP or in enrolling their children in a local
school. Many may already have faced disruption and become disconnected or moved
away from existing services and support networks as a result of homelessness.
3.5.
The Government’s current target is to halve the number of households living in
temporary accommodation by 2010. Increasing the supply of new affordable housing
and making better use of existing social and private rented stock to provide settled
homes will be critical for achieving this target, as will measures to prevent
homelessness.
INCREASE SUPPLY OF NEW HOUSING
3.6.
The Sustainable Communities Plan and Sustainable Communities: Homes for All set
out how the Government is creating new communities and expanding existing
communities in four areas in the wider South East. Taken together, these areas are
expected to deliver an extra 200,000 homes above current planning totals.
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38

3.7.
At a regional level, local authorities have a key role to play to identify the priorities
for housing in their region, to ensure these are reflected in regional housing strategies
and to secure funding for their plans. Housing authorities will also need to ensure that
housing strategies are aligned with regional economic and planning strategies.
3.8.
There are a number of ways housing authorities can increase the supply of new
housing. The main source of funding for the provision of affordable housing is the
Housing Corporation’s national Affordable Housing Programme (AHP), known
formerly as the Approved Development Programme (ADP). From the 2006-2008
biannual bidding round, the AHP is open to both registered social landlords and 
non-registered bodies (e.g. developers). Bids continue to be assessed against a range
of criteria including housing quality and value for money, and against regional and
local priorities. Housing authorities will need to work closely with RSLs and others
to make best use of this funding.
3.9.
Another important means of providing affordable housing is through planning
obligations, which are usually negotiated in the context of granting planning
permission for new housing development. Planning obligations are generally secured
by agreements made between a local authority and a developer under s.106 of the
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and they are commonly referred to as “s.106
agreements”. Obligations may be appropriate where, for example, a planning
objection to a proposed development cannot be overcome by the imposition of a
condition. More detailed guidance on the use of s.106 agreements is contained in
ODPM Circular 05/2005: Planning Obligations.
3.10. National guidance on planning and affordable housing is currently contained in
Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3): Housing, as supplemented by Circular
06/98. These documents provide advice to planning authorities about securing the
provision of affordable housing either in kind or by financial contribution. They also
remind local authorities when formulating local policy or determining planning
applications to take account of the need to cater for a range of housing needs and to
encourage the development of mixed and balanced communities in order to avoid
areas of social exclusion.
3.11. PPG3 and Circular 06/98 are presently under review and a draft Planning Policy
Statement 3 (PPS3): Housing was issued for consultation in December 2005.
Following the publication of final PPS3, local planning authorities will be expected 
to ensure that policies in their Local Development Frameworks take into account the
updated national planning policy framework for delivering the Government’s housing
objectives.
3.12. Planning authorities will need to ensure that their affordable housing policies are
evidence-based, kept up to date over time, and applied consistently across
developments to ensure that affordable housing is effectively and fairly delivered
through this route.
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MAXIMISING THE USE OF EXISTING HOUSING STOCK
3.13. A number of options are discussed below for how housing authorities might maximise
the use of current housing stock.
The private rented sector
3.14. Some people living in the private rented sector can experience homelessness, but this
sector can also provide solutions to homelessness. Homelessness statistics routinely
show that the end of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is one of the top three
reasons for loss of a settled home. Authorities are encouraged to work with landlords
in their area to see how this can be addressed, for example, by offering mediation
between landlord and tenant where relations have broken down, and negotiating to
extend or renew ASTs where appropriate.
3.15. For many, renting in the private sector may offer a practical solution to their housing
need (for example, it may offer more choice over location and type of property).
Authorities are therefore encouraged to consider providing rent deposits, guarantees or
rent in advance, to help households access this sector. They may also consider
establishing Accreditation Schemes, whereby landlords voluntarily agree to a set of
standards relating to the management or physical condition of privately rented
accommodation to help increase the supply of private rented accommodation.
3.16. Many local authorities have used the private rented sector as a source of good quality,
self-contained temporary accommodation. However, the private rented sector can also
provide a source of settled accommodation, where qualifying offers of ASTs are
accepted by households who are owed the main homelessness duty.
3.17. There is scope to make greater use of the private rented sector, either to help
households avoid homelessness or to provide more settled homes for people living in
temporary accommodation. Authorities are recommended to establish and maintain
good relations with private sector landlords, for example through landlord fora. This
can be effective in securing an improved supply of properties in the private rented
sector for homeless, or potentially homeless, households.
3.18. It is also recommended that authorities review the extent to which qualifying offers of
ASTs are being made to households in temporary accommodation in their area;
whether there are any barriers to such offers being made or accepted and, if so, what
additional steps would need to be taken to address those barriers.
Social housing
3.19. The Secretary of State considers that, generally, it is inappropriate for general needs
social housing to be used as temporary accommodation for long periods, especially
where such properties are able to be let as settled homes.
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40

3.20. It is important that housing authorities work effectively with RSLs to help them
prevent and tackle homelessness in the district. RSLs have a key role to play in
sustaining tenancies, reducing evictions and abandonment, and preventing
homelessness through their housing management functions. To ensure effective
collaboration between themselves and partner RSLs operating in their district housing
authorities are advised to consider establishing a nominations agreement. This would
include the proportion of lettings that will be made available, any conditions that will
apply, and how any disputes about suitability or eligibility will be resolved. Housing
authorities are also advised to aim for any exclusion criteria (that may be applied to
nominees by the RSL) to be kept to a minimum. Further guidance on co-operation
between RSLs and housing authorities is at Annex 5.
3.21. There are a number of schemes and policies that social housing providers can
implement to facilitate the effective management and use of the existing housing stock
and to keep voids and re-let times to a minimum.
• Mobility: ‘moveUK’ (formerly Housing Employment and Mobility Services) has
been developed to offer social housing tenants and jobseekers more choice about
where they live and work around the UK. Its services will open up new opportunities
for people who wish to move‘moveUK’ will have three main service components:
(i)
facilitated mobility services to social landlords and their tenants and
applicants to help tenants and applicants to find new homes. This will
continue and enhance the provision of the grant funded mobility previously
provided by Housing Mobility and Exchange Services (HOMES) and LAWN
(the Association of London Government scheme that helps tenants who want
to, move out of London to areas of low demand);
(ii) ‘one stop shop’ web-based information about available housing, neighbourhoods
and job vacancies;
(iii) web access to information on vacancies in social housing.
• Cash Incentive Scheme (CIS): although there is no obligation for a housing
authority to provide a scheme, the main objectives of the Cash Incentive Scheme
(CIS) are to release local authority accommodation required for letting to those in
housing need, and to encourage sustainable home ownership. This is achieved by
the payment of a grant to a local authority tenant to assist them in buying a
property in the private sector.
• The new HomeBuy scheme: this scheme, which commenced on 1st April 2006,
provides people with the opportunity to own a home based on equity sharing,
whilst protecting the supply of social housing. Existing social tenants are one of the
priority groups helped under the scheme, and any rented housing association/local
authority home vacated by them will then be made available to others in priority
housing need. The Social HomeBuy option, which allows housing association and
local authority tenants to purchase a share in their rented home, will be voluntary.
Landlords will be able to reinvest the proceeds in replacement social homes.
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3.22. The Secretary of State also considers that where local authority or RSL stock is
provided as temporary accommodation to discharge a main homelessness duty (owed
under section 193(2)) the housing authority should give very careful consideration to
the scope for allocating the accommodation as a secure or assured tenancy, as
appropriate, especially where a household has been living in a particular property for
anything other than a short-term emergency stay.
Choice-based Lettings schemes
3.23. The expansion of choice-based lettings policy aims to achieve nationwide coverage by
2010. Local authorities are encouraged to work together, and with RSL partners, to
develop sub-regional and regional choice-based lettings schemes which provide
maximum choice and flexibility. Local authorities are encouraged to offer choice to
homeless households, while ensuring that their schemes are designed so as not to
provide a perverse incentive to applicants to make a homelessness application in order
to increase their priority for housing. Housing authorities should also consider
involving the private rented sector in their choice-based lettings schemes in order to
maximise the housing options available.
Empty homes
3.24. Housing authorities are encouraged to adopt positive strategies for minimising empty
homes, and other buildings that could provide residential accommodation, across all
housing sectors and tenures within their district. A strategy for minimising empty
homes might include schemes for tackling low demand social housing, bringing empty
private sector properties back into use and bringing flats over shops into residential
use.
3.25. Under the Housing Act 2004 new provisions on Empty Dwelling Management Orders
(EDMOs) are expected to be brought into force. EDMOs are a discretionary power for
local authorities to use as part of their empty homes strategy. The new powers will
allow local authorities to apply to a residential property tribunal for approval to make
an interim EDMO lasting for up to 12 months. During this interim period, the
authority may only place tenants in the house with the consent of the owner.
3.26. Local authorities also have the discretion to set the council tax discount on long term
empty properties at any point between 50% and 0%, as well as at any point between
50% and 10% on second homes, taking into account local conditions.
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42

Housing renewal
3.27. Housing renewal assistance can also assist in meeting the aims of the homelessness
strategy. Under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance)(England and Wales)
Order 2002
, local authorities have power to promote housing renewal assistance to
landlords, private homeowners and others to increase the supply of a particular type of
accommodation through converting under-utilised accommodation to meet identified
housing need within the district. Empty homes, vacant accommodation above shops or
commercial buildings can be targeted for assistance. Housing renewal assistance can
also enable private homeowners to carry out essential repairs or improvements, and
remain in their home.
Disabled facilities grant
3.28. Uptake of the Disabled Facilities Grant – a mandatory entitlement administered by
housing authorities for eligible disabled people in all housing tenures – can enable
homeowners to remain living an independent life at home, and should be considered
as part of an effective homelessness strategy. Authorities are required to give a
decision within six months of receiving an application. The grant is subject to a
maximum limit and is means tested to ensure that funding goes to those most in need.
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CHAPTER 4: SECURING SUPPORT SERVICES
4.1.
This chapter provides guidance on the importance of support services in
preventing and tackling homelessness and outlines the types of housing-related
and other support services that might be required.

4.2.
A homelessness strategy is defined in section 3(1)(c) of the 2002 Act as (among
other things) a strategy for securing the satisfactory provision of support for people in
their district:
i)
who are or may become homeless; or
ii) who have been homeless and need support to prevent them from becoming
homeless again.
4.3.
In formulating their homelessness strategies, housing authorities need to recognise
that for some households, homelessness cannot be tackled, or prevented, solely
through the provision of accommodation. Some households will require a range of
support services, which may include housing-related support to help them sustain their
accommodation, as well as personal support relating to factors such as relationship
breakdown, domestic violence, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction,
poverty, debt and unemployment.
4.4.
Support can help to prevent people who are at risk of homelessness from becoming
homeless at all. In other cases, where people have experienced homelessness and been
placed in temporary accommodation, the provision of support may be essential to
ensure that they are able to continue to enjoy a reasonable quality of life and access
the range of services they need to rebuild their lives. The provision of support can also
be important in helping formerly homeless households to sustain settled housing and
prevent homelessness from recurring.
4.5.
Solutions to homelessness should be based on a thorough assessment of the
household’s needs, including support needs. Housing authorities will need to establish
effective links with the Supporting People team, the social services authority and other
agencies (for example, Primary Care Trusts, the Criminal Justice Service, and
voluntary and community organisations) to ensure that a joint assessment of an
applicant’s housing and support needs can be made where necessary. Such
assessments should inform decisions on intervention to enable a household to remain
in their home, placements in temporary accommodation and options for the provision
of more settled accommodation that will bring the main homelessness duty to an end.
4.6.
Where children and young people are involved, it is important that any solutions to
homelessness address the issues they are facing and do not undermine any support
they may already be receiving. In particular, housing authorities will need to establish
effective links with children’s services authorities1 and establish whether a Common
Assessment Framework has been undertaken, and, if so, which agency will have
relevant information about the child’s or young person’s needs.
1 All authorities should have a children’s services authority, delivering through a children’s trust, by April 2008.
All Directors of Children’s Services will be in post by 2008.
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STRATEGY TO SECURE PROVISION OF SUPPORT SERVICES
4.7.
Section 1 of the 2002 Act requires housing authorities to carry out a homelessness
review for their district. Gaining a thorough understanding of the causes of
homelessness through the review process will help to inform the range of support
provision required. As part of the review, housing authorities must consider all the
current activities in their area which contribute to the provision of support for
households who are, or may become, homeless, as well as people in the district who
have been homeless and need support to prevent them becoming homeless again. They
must also consider the resources available. Both activities and resources are likely to
involve a range of providers working in the public, private and voluntary sectors. (See
Chapter 1 for further guidance on carrying out a homelessness review and formulating
a homelessness strategy).
4.8.
In formulating their homelessness strategies housing authorities will need to consider
the different types and level of support that households may require. Households who
have experienced homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness may have diverse
needs. Some households may only need information and advice in order to avoid
experiencing homelessness, or becoming homeless again. Others, however, will need
greater assistance including housing-related support and in some cases may require
intensive support from a range of services.
INDIVIDUALS AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS
4.9.
Housing authorities should be aware that some individuals may be at particular risk of
homelessness, for example young people leaving care, ex-offenders, former members
of the armed forces, refugees, people with mental health problems or individuals
leaving hospital, and may require a broader package of resettlement support. When
developing their homelessness strategies, housing authorities should consider carefully
how to work effectively to prevent homelessness amongst these groups and ensure that
appropriate support is available. Early identification of people at risk will be crucial to
preventing homelessness. Housing authorities should consider agreeing protocols for
joint action with local agencies in order to assist with early identification and
prevention measures.
4.10. Individuals at risk of homelessness may also include those who have never
experienced homelessness in the past and for whom, with the appropriate support,
homelessness can be avoided. These individuals may be at risk of homelessness due to
specific problems such as managing debt or accessing benefits and require specialist
advice which may be delivered through partner agencies such as Citizens Advice
Bureaux or Jobcentre Plus. See Chapter 2 for guidance on preventing homelessness.
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YOUNG PEOPLE
4.11. Many young people who have experienced homelessness may lack skills in managing
their affairs and require help with managing a tenancy and operating a household
budget. Those estranged from their family, particularly care leavers, may lack the
advice and support normally available to young people from family, friends and other
mentors. 16 and 17 year olds who are homeless and estranged from their family will
be particularly vulnerable and in need of support. See Chapter 12 for further guidance
on 16 and 17 year olds.
HOUSING-RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES
4.12. Housing-related support services have a key role in preventing homelessness
occurring or recurring. The types of housing-related support that households who have
experienced homelessness may need include:
• support in establishing a suitable home – help, advice and support in finding and
maintaining suitable accommodation for independent living in the community;
• support with daily living skills – help, advice and training in the day-to-day skills
needed for living independently, such as budgeting and cooking;
• support in accessing benefits, health and community care services – information,
advice and help in claiming benefits or accessing community care or health
services;
• help in establishing and maintaining social support – help in rebuilding or
establishing social networks that can help counter isolation and help support
independent living.
4.13. Services might be delivered through:
• floating support services – using support workers who travel to clients’
accommodation in order to provide support. These services can operate across all
tenures and generally provide time-limited and low intensity support;
• short and medium stay housing with support – including direct access schemes,
night shelters, hostels, transitional housing and supported lodgings. Some of these
services may specialise in supporting particular groups of individuals at risk of
homelessness, such as vulnerable young people;
• long-stay supported housing services – to provide ongoing support to those who
are unable to live independently in the community.
4.14. Housing-related support can be funded through the Supporting People programme,
and close co-operation between housing authorities and the Supporting People team
will be essential for ensuring effective support for households who have experienced
homelessness, particularly through the local Commissioning Body and Core Strategy
Group. Further information on housing-related support services is provided in
separate guidance, Supporting People – Guide to Accommodation and Support
Options for Homeless Households 
(ODPM, 2003).
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46

OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES
4.15. Households who have experienced homelessness may need additional support services
which are not directly housing-related and fall outside the scope of the Supporting
People programme funding. Housing authorities will need to co-operate and work
collaboratively with other departments within the authority and a wide range of
statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies in order to ensure that the support
which is required is provided. Joint working with commissioners/planners and
providers of the following services will be particularly important:
• health services;
• drug/alcohol services including Drug Action Teams;
• social services;
• children’s and young persons’ services (e.g. Connexions, Sure Start children’s
centres, child care services);
• voluntary and community sector service providers;
• National Offender Management Service (incorporating the Prison Service and the
Probation Service);
• Youth Offending Teams;
• Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships;
• the Police;
• education and training services;
• the Employment Service (Jobcentre Plus);
• grant making charities and trusts;
• local strategic partnerships.
SUPPORT FOR HOUSEHOLDS IN TEMPORARY
ACCOMMODATION

4.16. The provision of support to households placed in temporary accommodation is
essential to ensure that they are able to continue to enjoy a reasonable quality of life
and access the range of services they need. In formulating their homelessness
strategies, housing authorities should consider what arrangements need to be in place
to ensure that households placed in temporary accommodation, within their district or
outside, are able to access relevant support services. In particular households will need
to be able to access:
• primary care services such as health visitors and GPs;
• appropriate education services;
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• relevant social services; and
• employment and training services.
4.17. Housing authorities will need to liaise and work collaboratively with the relevant
service providers to ensure that appropriate arrangements are put in place and
monitored. When households are placed in temporary accommodation, it is
recommended that housing authorities offer to liaise with the relevant health,
education and social services departments in the area in which the households are
temporarily housed. Liaison will be particularly important in cases where households
have to be accommodated in the district of another housing authority.
4.18. The Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities offer to liaise with the
appropriate Primary Care Trust of all families with babies or young children who are
placed in temporary accommodation, to ensure that they have the opportunity to
receive health and developmental checks from health visitors and/or other primary
health care professionals and can participate in vaccination programmes. It would be
insufficient for an authority simply to provide such a family with details of health
centres and GP practices in the area.
Notify
4.19. Authorities are encouraged to participate in any regional or sub-regional arrangements
which facilitate the notification of other authorities and agencies about the location
and support needs of households in temporary accommodation. When considering
procedures for notifying the relevant agencies of placements in temporary
accommodation, housing authorities may wish to have regard to NOTIFY – a web-
based notification and information system administered by the Greater London
Authority (GLA).
4.20. NOTIFY is designed to improve access to services for households placed in temporary
accommodation. Its primary role is to notify relevant services of the placement or
movement of households placed in temporary accommodation by London boroughs
under the homelessness legislation. The system uses information provided by London
borough housing departments to notify housing, education, social services and
Primary Care Trusts about households placed in, moving between or leaving
temporary accommodation. Information is contained in a database and updated
weekly. Authorised users of the NOTIFY notifications website can view information
held on NOTIFY at any time, by accessing that website. Relevant services receive a
weekly email alert from NOTIFY, informing them of any unviewed notifications and
reminding them to access the website. NOTIFY will also shortly provide access for
each borough to its own operational management data. The system also has the
capacity to analyse aggregated data both at borough and London level. For further
information on NOTIFY see notifylondon.gov.uk or contact xxxxxx@xxxxxx.xxx.xx.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
48

CHAPTER 5: WORKING WITH OTHERS
5.1.
This chapter provides guidance to housing authorities on working in partnership
with other agencies to deliver co-ordinated and effective services to tackle
homelessness. It considers the range of organisations and people that contribute
to preventing and tackling homelessness and provides examples of types of joint
working. It also sets out the statutory provisions that require co-operation
between various authorities.

5.2.
Under s.3(5) of the 2002 Act, when formulating a homelessness strategy the housing
authority must consider, among other things, the extent to which any of the strategy’s
objectives could be achieved through joint action involving two or more of the
organisations tackling homelessness in the district. Whilst housing authorities are best
placed to take the strategic lead in tackling homelessness, it is vital that as part of
their homelessness strategies effective partnerships are developed with other
organisations to deliver co-ordinated and more effective approaches to tackling
homelessness locally that address not only housing need but all aspects of social need.
WHY JOINT WORKING?
5.3.
At its best, joint working can result in higher quality and more efficient and cost-
effective services. Joint working can:
• expand the knowledge and expertise of partner agencies;
• help to provide higher quality integrated services to clients with multiple needs;
• help to ensure people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness do not fall
through the net because no one agency can meet all their needs;
• reduce wasteful referrals and duplicated work between agencies. For example,
common procedures for assessing clients and exchanging information mean
homeless people do not have to be repeatedly assessed by different agencies.
ORGANISATIONS/PEOPLE WORKING TO PREVENT AND
TACKLE HOMELESSNESS

5.4.
The most effective homelessness strategies will be those which harness the potential
of all the organisations and persons working to prevent and tackle homelessness in the
district, and which ensure that all the activities concerned are consistent and
complementary. Joint working could involve the social services authority, the Primary
Care Trust, other public bodies such as the National Offender Management Service,
voluntary and community sector organisations, registered social landlords, private
landlords, and any other relevant organisations. Housing authorities should also
consider joint working with other agencies, for example, the Police and voluntary and
community sector organisations, to tackle issues related to homelessness such as street
drinking, begging, drug misuse and anti-social behaviour. Such collaborative working
can help reduce the numbers of people sleeping rough and provide effective services
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targeted at those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Annex 3 provides
an indicative list of other authorities, organisations and persons whose activities may
contribute to preventing and tackling homelessness. Chapter 2 provides guidance on
the range of activities that housing authorities might undertake in conjunction with
other bodies in order to prevent homelessness.
5.5.
Housing authorities should also consider developing cross-boundary partnerships to
help tackle homelessness, for example with neighbouring local authorities and local
strategic partnerships. Initiatives at regional, cross-regional and sub-regional level that
address issues which cut across administrative boundaries may also be relevant – for
example regional strategies for refugee integration or reducing re-offending.
TYPES OF JOINT WORKING
5.6.
Joint working can take many forms. Examples of types of collaborative working that
could help to achieve the objectives of a homelessness strategy might include:
• establishment of a multi-agency forum for key practitioners and providers to share
knowledge, information, ideas and complementary practices;
• clear links between the homelessness strategy and other key strategies such as
Supporting People, and the NHS Local Delivery Plan;
• protocols for the referral of clients between services and sharing information
between services – for example a joint protocol between hospital-based social
workers and housing officers to address the housing needs of patients to be
discharged from hospital;
• joint consideration of the needs of homeless people by housing and social services
authorities under Part 7, the Children Act 1989 and community care legislation;
• establishment of formal links with other services – for example with those provided
by voluntary and community sector organisations;
• joint planning and commissioning of services;
• joint training;
• funding of joint posts, for example with the social services authority;
• senior housing representation on key corporate groups such as the Local Strategic
Partnership (LSP) and the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP);
• senior commitment from all stakeholders to joined-up working to ensure the
homelessness strategy action plan is carried out;
• appropriate user involvement and consultation.
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50

5.7.
When offering housing advice and assistance, housing authorities should consider
devising screening procedures that identify at an early stage those cases where there is
a need for case-specific joint working. Authorities may also wish to encourage their
partner agencies to develop similar procedures. Where there is a need for such an
approach, authorities are encouraged to adopt agreed protocols to ensure that
appropriate action can be quickly initiated. Early appraisal of all clients who may
require multiple assessments, by whichever authority is first approached, with agreed
triggers and procedures for further action, may help to prevent duplication of enquiries.
5.8.
Homelessness Strategies – A good practice handbook (DTLR, March 2002) provides
advice on successful joint working and the establishment of good links between
different agencies and programmes that can prevent and alleviate homelessness. The
handbook also signposts to other sources of guidance, for example, on joint protocols,
joint commissioning and joint assessments.
THE STATUTORY FRAMEWORK
5.9.
The need for co-operation between statutory authorities is recognised in legislation:
• s.213, s.213A and s.170 of the Housing Act 1996;
• s.1 of the Homelessness Act 2002;
• s.2 of the Local Government Act 2000;
• s.27 of the Children Act 1989;
• s.10, s.11 and s.13 of the Children Act 2004;
• s.47 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990;
• s.27 and s.31 of the Health Act 1999.
These provisions are outlined in more detail below. However, the absence of a formal
legal duty should not act as a barrier to joint working. Rather this should be predicated
on meeting local needs and effectively implementing the homelessness strategy.
Housing Act 1996
Section 213
5.10. Where housing or inquiry duties arise under the 1996 Act a housing authority may
seek co-operation from another relevant housing authority or body or a social services
authority in England, Scotland or Wales. The authority or body to whom the request is
made must co-operate to the extent that is reasonable in the circumstances. For this
purpose, “relevant housing authority or body” will include:
in England and Wales:
– another housing authority,
– a registered social landlord, 
– a housing action trust, and 
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in Scotland:
– a local authority, 
– a registered social landlord, and 
– Scottish Homes.
5.11. The duty on the housing authority, body or social services authority receiving such a
request to co-operate will depend on their other commitments and responsibilities.
However, they cannot adopt a general policy of refusing such requests, and each case
will need to be considered in the circumstances at the time. 
5.12. Section 170 of the 1996 Act also provides that where a registered social landlord
(RSL) has been requested by a housing authority to offer accommodation to people
with priority under its allocation scheme, the RSL must co-operate to such extent as is
reasonable in the circumstances. RSLs have a key role to play in preventing and
tackling homelessness. See Annex 5 for guidance on co-operation between RSLs and
housing authorities.
Section 213A
5.13. Section 213A applies where the housing authority has reason to believe than an
applicant with whom a person under the age of 18 resides, or might normally be
expected to reside, may be ineligible for assistance, or homeless, or threatened with
homelessness, intentionally. Housing authorities are required to have arrangements in
place to ensure that all such applicants are invited to agree to the housing authority
notifying the social services authority of the essential facts of their case. This will give
social services the opportunity to consider the circumstances of the child(ren) and
family and plan any response that may be deemed by them to be appropriate. See
Chapter 13 for further guidance on s.213A.
Local Government Acts
5.14. The promotion of well-being power contained in s.2 of the Local Government Act
2000 gives local authorities substantial capacity for cross-boundary partnership
working with other authorities and partners, such as the health and social services
sectors. In particular, the power provides local authorities with increased scope to
improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of their communities.
Section 2(5) of the Local Government Act 2000 makes it clear that local authorities
may act in relation to and for the benefit of any person or area outside their own area
if they consider that to do so is likely to promote or improve the social, economic or
environmental well-being of their own area. This, therefore, provides scope for:
• co-operation between neighbouring local authorities and local strategic
partnerships; and
• initiatives at regional, cross-regional and sub-regional level that address issues
which cut across administrative boundaries.
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52

It should be noted, however, that the s.2 power cannot be used by authorities to
delegate, or contract out their functions. In order to do this, authorities will need to
make use of specific powers such as those in s.101 of the Local Government Act 1972
which provides for the joint exercise of functions between local authorities.
Children Act 1989
5.15. Under s.27 of the Children Act 1989 (“the 1989 Act”), a local authority can ask a
range of other statutory authorities, including a housing authority, to help them in
delivering services for children and families, under their functions in Part 3 of the
1989 Act. Authorities must comply with such a request to the extent that it is
compatible with their own statutory duties and other obligations, and does not unduly
prejudice the discharge of any of their own functions. They cannot adopt a general
policy of refusing such requests, and each case will need to be considered according
to the circumstances at the time.
5.16. Children and young people should not be sent to and fro between different authorities
(or between different departments within authorities). To provide an effective safety
net for vulnerable young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, housing
and social services will need to work together. Effective collaborative working will
require clear corporate policies and departmental procedures agreed between the
relevant departments. These should make provision for speedy resolution of any
dispute as to which department should take responsibility for a particular case. Joint
agreements should cover not only the assessment of clients, but should also reflect the
strategic planning and delivery of provision to be set out in the local Children and
Young People’s Plan. Local Safeguarding Children Boards, which will co-ordinate and
ensure the effectiveness of local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of
children, may also be involved in drawing up policies and procedures to ensure effective
inter-agency co-operation (see also paragraphs 5.17-5.20 below) and Chapter 13.
5.17. Under the 1989 Act, young people leaving care and 16/17 year old children assessed
as in need are owed duties which may extend to the provision of accommodation.
Where social services approach a housing authority for assistance in housing a young
person, the housing authority must co-operate subject to the conditions referred to
above in para 5.16. Whether a young person is accommodated under the auspices of
the social services authority or the housing authority is a matter for individual
authorities to determine in each case. Ideally the relationship of the two authorities
should be symbiotic, with jointly agreed protocols in place in respect of the
assessment of needs. In many cases the social services authority will have a
continuing responsibility for the welfare of vulnerable young people and for assisting
them in the transition to adulthood and independent living. Under the 1989 Act, these
responsibilities can extend until the young person is aged 18 and in the case of care
leavers until the age of 21 (or beyond that age if they are in an agreed programme of
education and training). Thus, social services authorities can request assistance from
housing authorities in meeting their obligations to provide accommodation for a young
person and housing authorities can look to social services authorities to provide the
support that young homeless applicants may require. In some cases, housing and
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social services authorities will both have responsibilities towards young people and
will need to work together in order to ensure that an appropriate combination of
housing and support is arranged to help the young person to live independently
successfully.
Children Act 2004
5.18. The Children Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) provides the legislative support for the Every
Child Matters: Change for Children programme which sets out a national framework
for local change programmes to build services around the needs of children and young
people. Improved outcomes for children will be driven by an analysis of local
priorities and secured through more integrated front-line delivery such as multi-
agency working, integrated processes such as the Common Assessment Framework,
integrated strategy with joint planning and commissioning, and governance
arrangements such as the creation of a Director of Children’s Services and lead
member for children’s services.
5.19. To support the integration of systems to improve outcomes for children and young
people by the creation of children’s trusts, s.10 of the 2004 Act establishes a duty on
county level and unitary authorities1 to make arrangements to promote co-operation
between the authority, relevant partners (including district councils) and other persons
or bodies engaged in activities in relation to children, to improve the well-being of
children and young people in the authority’s area. Relevant partners are required to 
co-operate with the authority. Section 11 of the 2004 Act requires a range of agencies
– including county level and unitary authorities and district authorities where there are
two tiers of local government – to make arrangements for ensuring that their functions
are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of
children. Section 13 of the 2004 Act requires county level and unitary authorities to
set up a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) incorporating key organisations
including district councils where relevant. As set out in s.14, the objective of the
LSCB is to co-ordinate and ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each person
or body represented on the board to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in
that area.
5.20. The 2004 Act also makes provision for indexes containing basic information about
children and young people to enable better sharing of information. In addition, each
local authority is required to draw up a Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) by
April 2006. The CYPP will be a single, strategic, over-arching plan for all services
affecting children and young people. The CYPP and the process of joint planning
should support local authorities and their partners as they work together. An integrated
inspection framework is also being created with Joint Area Reviews assessing local
areas’ progress in improving outcomes.
1 Section 65 of the Children Act 2004 uses the term ‘children’s services authority’ to define these authorities as: a
county council in England; a metropolitan district council; a non-metropolitan district council for an area where
there is no county council; a London borough council; the Common Council of the City of London and the
Council of the Isles of Scilly.
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54

The Department for Education and Skills has produced statutory guidance on the
Children Act 2004 which is available from www.everychildmatters.gov.uk.
National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990
5.21. Under the National Health Service (NHS) and Community Care Act 1990 (“the 1990
Act”), social services authorities are required to carry out an assessment of any person
who may have a need for community care services. The purpose of the legislation is to
ensure that the planning and assessment processes identify a person’s full range of
needs, including housing needs. Section 47 of the 1990 Act requires social service
authorities to notify the housing authority if there appears to be a housing need when
the assessment is carried out. The “housing need”, for example, may be for renovation
or adaptation of the person’s current accommodation or for alternative accommodation.
5.22. An assessment of vulnerability under the homelessness legislation will not necessarily
mean that a client is eligible for social care services. Policy guidance on fair access to
care services (FACS) was published on 2 June 2002 under guidance of local authority
circular (LAC) (2002) 13. The guidance provides authorities with an eligibility
framework for adult social care for them to use when setting and applying their
eligibility criteria.
Health Act 1999
5.23. Section 27 of the Health Act 1999 (“the 1999 Act”) requires NHS bodies and local
authorities to co-operate with one another in exercising their respective functions in
order to secure and advance the health and welfare of the people of England and
Wales.
5.24. Under s.31 of the 1999 Act, partnership arrangements can be designed to help break
down the barriers between NHS and local authority services by removing existing
constraints in the system and increasing flexibility in the provision and commissioning
of services. The legislation introduces three flexibilities: pooled budgets, lead
commissioning and integrated provision. Any health-related local authority function
can be included in these partnerships, for example, housing, social services, education
and leisure services.
National Standards, Local Action: Health and Social Care Standards and
Planning Framework 2005/06–2007/08

5.25. This document sets out the framework for all NHS organisations and social services
authorities to use in planning over the financial years 2005/06-2007/08. It looks to
Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authorities to lead community partnership by
even closer joint working to take forward the NHS Improvement Plan. Building on
joint work on Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), they will need to work in
partnership with other NHS organisations in preparing Local Delivery Plans (LDPs)
for the period 2005/06 to 2007/08.
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Mental health
5.26. The Mental Health National Service Framework (NSF 30/09/1999) addresses the
mental health needs of working age adults up to 65. It sets out national standards;
national service models; local action and national underpinning programmes for
implementation; and a series of national milestones to assure progress, with
performance indicators to support effective performance management. An
organisational framework for providing integrated services and for commissioning
services across the spectrum is also included.
5.27. The Government wants to ensure that people suffering from mental illness receive
appropriate care and assistance, particularly those whose illness is severe and
enduring. Research has shown that provision of suitable, settled housing is essential to
the well-being of this vulnerable group. A key element in the spectrum of care and
support is the development of a care plan under the Care Programme Approach (CPA).
The initial assessment and ongoing reviews under the CPA must include an
assessment of an individual’s housing needs. It is essential that housing authorities
liaise closely with social services authorities so that any provision of housing is
appropriate to the needs of the individual, and meshes with the social and health care
support that may be an essential part of the person’s care programme.
5.28. This is equally important for young people up to the age of 18. Chapter 9 of the
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
published in 2004 makes clear that use of the CPA is also a key marker of good
practice for child and adolescent mental health services working with young people
with high levels of mental health need.
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56

CHAPTER 6: APPLICATIONS, INQUIRIES, DECISIONS
AND NOTIFICATIONS
6.1.
This chapter provides guidance on dealing with applications for accommodation
or assistance in obtaining accommodation; a housing authority’s duty to carry
out inquiries (where it has reason to believe an applicant may be homeless or
threatened with homelessness); and, following inquiries, an authority’s duty to
notify an applicant of its decision.

APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE
6.2.
Under s.184 of the 1996 Act, if a housing authority has reason to believe that a person
applying to the authority for accommodation or assistance in obtaining
accommodation may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, the authority must
make such inquiries as are necessary to satisfy itself whether the applicant is eligible
for assistance and if so, whether any duty, and if so what duty, is owed to that person
under Part 7 of the 1996 Act. The definitions of “homeless” and “threatened with
homelessness” are discussed in Chapter 8.
Preventing homelessness
6.3.
Under s.179, housing authorities have a duty to ensure that advice and information
about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness are available free of charge to
anyone in their district (see Chapter 2 for further guidance on providing advice and
information to prevent homelessness). In many cases early, effective intervention can
prevent homelessness occurring. Many people who face the potential loss of their
current home will be seeking practical advice and assistance to help them remain in
their accommodation or secure alternative accommodation. Some may be seeking to
apply for assistance under the homelessness legislation without being aware of other
options that could help them to secure accommodation. Authorities should explain the
various housing options that are available. These might include:
• advice and assistance (e.g. legal advice or mediation with a landlord) to enable
them to remain in their current home;
• assistance (e.g. rent deposit or guarantee) to obtain accommodation in the private
rented sector;
• an application for an allocation of long term social housing accommodation
through a social housing waiting list or choice-based lettings scheme; or
• advice on how to apply to another social landlord for accommodation.
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6.4.
Housing authorities should ensure that the implications and likely outcomes of the
available housing options are made clear to all applicants, including the distinction
between having a priority need for accommodation under Part 7 and being in a
“reasonable preference” category for an allocation of housing under Part 6.
Authorities must not avoid their obligations under Part 7 (especially the duty to make
inquiries under s.184), but it is open to them to suggest alternative solutions in cases
of potential homelessness where these would be appropriate and acceptable to the
applicant.
Interim duty to accommodate
6.5.
If a housing authority has reason to believe that an applicant may be eligible for
assistance, homeless and have a priority need, the authority will have an immediate
duty under s.188 to ensure that suitable accommodation is available for the
applicant 
(and his or her household) pending the completion of the authority’s
inquiries and its decision as to what duty, if any, is owed to the applicant under Part 7
of the Act. Chapter 7 provides guidance on the interim duty to accommodate.
Authorities are reminded that ‘having reason to believe’ is a lower test than ‘being
satisfied’.
Form of the application
6.6.
Applications can be made by any adult to any department of the local authority and
expressed in any particular form; they need not be expressed as explicitly seeking
assistance under Part 7. Applications may also be made by a person acting on behalf
of the applicant, for example, by a social worker or solicitor acting in a professional
capacity, or by a relative or friend in circumstances where the applicant is unable to
make an application themselves.
Applications to more than one housing authority
6.7.
In some cases applicants may apply to more than one housing authority
simultaneously and housing authorities will need to be alert to cases where an
applicant is doing this. In such cases, where a housing authority has reason to believe
that the applicant may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, it may wish to
contact the other housing authorities involved, to agree which housing authority will
take responsibility for conducting inquiries. Where another housing authority has
previously made decisions about an applicant’s circumstances, a housing authority
considering a fresh application may wish to have regard to those decisions. However,
housing authorities should not rely solely on decisions made by another housing
authority and will need to make their own inquiries in order to reach an independent
decision on whether any duty, and if so which duty, is owed under Part 7. Any
arrangements for the discharge of any of their functions by another housing authority
must comply with s.101 of the Local Government Act 1972.
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58

Service provision
6.8.
A need for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation can arise at
anytime. Housing authorities will therefore need to provide access to advice and
assistance at all times during normal office hours, and have arrangements in place for
24-hour emergency cover, e.g. by enabling telephone access to an appropriate duty
officer. The police and other relevant services should be provided with details of how
to access the service outside normal office hours.
6.9.
In the interests of good administration, it is recommended that housing authorities
should give proper consideration to the location of, and accessibility to, advice and
information about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness, including the
need to ensure privacy during interviews. Details of the service including the opening
hours, address, telephone numbers and the 24-hour emergency contact should be well
publicised within the housing authority’s district.
6.10. Housing authorities should provide applicants with a clear and simple explanation of
their procedures for handling applications and making decisions. It is recommended
that this is provided in written form, for example as a leaflet, as well as orally. In order
to ensure advice and assistance are accessible to everyone in the district, it is
recommended that information is made available in the main languages spoken in the
area, and that for languages less frequently spoken there is access to interpreters.
Applicants should be kept informed of the progress of their application and the
timescales involved for making a decision on their case. They should also be given a
realistic expectation of the assistance to which they may be entitled.
6.11. Under s.214, it is an offence for a person, knowingly or recklessly to make a false
statement, or knowingly to withhold information, with intent to induce the authority to
believe that he or she, or another person, is entitled to accommodation under Part 7.
If, before the applicant receives notification of a decision, there is any change of facts
material to his or her case, he or she must inform the housing authority of this as soon
as possible. Housing authorities must ensure that all applicants are made aware of
these obligations and that they are explained in ordinary language. Housing authorities
are advised to ensure that the obligations are conveyed sensitively to avoid
intimidating applicants.
INQUIRIES
6.12. Under s.184, where a housing authority has reason to believe that an applicant may be
homeless or threatened with homelessness, it must make inquiries to satisfy itself
whether the applicant is eligible for assistance (see Chapter 9) and, if so, whether any
duty and if so what duty is owed to him or her under Part 7. In order to determine this,
the authority will need to establish whether the applicant is homeless or threatened
with homelessness (see Chapter 8), whether he or she became homeless, or threatened
with homelessness, intentionally (see Chapter 11) and whether he or she has a priority
need for accommodation (see Chapter 10).
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6.13. In addition to determining whether an applicant is owed any duty under Part 7,
housing authorities are reminded that they have a power to provide further assistance
to applicants who are eligible for assistance, homeless (or threatened with
homelessness) unintentionally and do not have a priority need. Under s.192(3),
housing authorities may secure that accommodation is available for applicants who are
eligible, unintentionally homeless and do not have a priority need (see Chapter 15 for
further guidance). Under s.195(9), housing authorities may take reasonable steps to
secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for applicants who are
eligible for assistance, unintentionally threatened with homelessness and do not have a
priority need for accommodation (see paragraph 14.7 for guidance on steps to secure
that accommodation does not cease to be available).
6.14. Under s.184(2), housing authorities may also make inquiries to decide whether the
applicant has a local connection with another housing authority district in England,
Wales or Scotland, but they are not required to do so. The possibility of a referral of
an applicant to another housing authority can only arise where the applicant has been
accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and having a priority need
for accommodation (see Chapter 18 for guidance on local connection and referrals).
6.15. The obligation to make inquiries, and satisfy itself whether a duty is owed, rests with
the housing authority and it is not for applicants to “prove their case”. Applicants
should always be given the opportunity to explain their circumstances fully,
particularly on matters that could lead to a decision against their interests, for
example, a decision that an applicant is intentionally homeless.
6.16. Housing authorities should deal with inquiries as quickly as possible, whilst ensuring
that they are thorough and, in any particular case, sufficient to enable the housing
authority to satisfy itself what duty, if any, is owed or what other assistance can be
offered. Housing authorities are obliged to begin inquiries as soon as they have reason
to believe that an applicant may be homeless or threatened with homelessness and
should aim to carry out an initial interview and preliminary assessment on the day an
application is received. An early assessment will be vital to determine whether the
housing authority has an immediate duty to secure accommodation under s.188 (see
Chapter 7 for guidance on the interim duty to accommodate). Wherever possible, it is
recommended that housing authorities aim to complete their inquiries and notify the
applicant of their decision within 33 working days of accepting a duty to make
inquiries under s.184. In many cases it should be possible for authorities to complete
the inquiries significantly earlier.
Violence
6.17. Under s.177, it is not reasonable for a person to continue to occupy accommodation if
it is probable that this will lead to domestic or other violence against him or her, or
against a person who normally resides with him or her as a member of his or her
family, or any other person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him or
her. Violence includes threats of violence from another person which are likely to be
carried out. Inquiries into cases where violence is alleged will need careful handling.
It is essential that inquiries do not provoke further violence. It is not advisable for the
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housing authority to approach the alleged perpetrator, since this could generate further
violence, and may delay the assessment. Housing authorities may, however, wish to
seek information from friends and relatives of the applicant, social services and the
police, as appropriate. In some cases, corroborative evidence of actual or threatened
violence may not be available, for example, because there were no adult witnesses
and/or the applicant was too frightened or ashamed to report incidents to family,
friends or the police. In many cases involving violence, the applicant may be in
considerable distress and an officer trained in dealing with the particular circumstances
should conduct the interview. Applicants should be given the option of being
interviewed by an officer of the same sex if they so wish.
6.18. In cases where violence is a feature and the applicant may have a local connection
elsewhere, the housing authority, in considering whether to notify another housing
authority about a possible referral of the case, must be aware that s.198 provides that
an applicant cannot be referred to another housing authority if he or she, or any
person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him or her, would be at risk
of violence in the district of the other housing authority (see Chapter 18 for guidance
on referrals to another housing authority).
Support needs
6.19. 16 and 17 year olds (including lone parents) who apply for housing assistance may
also have care and support needs that need to be assessed. The Secretary of State
recommends that housing authorities and social services authorities (and the relevant
departments within unitary authorities) have arrangements in place for joint
consideration of such young people’s needs, whether the application is made initially
to the housing department or social services departmentSee Chapter 12 for further
guidance on 16 and 17 year olds.
Assistance from another authority or body
6.20. Under s. 213, a housing authority may request another relevant housing authority or
body to assist them in the discharge of their functions under Part 7. In such cases the
authority or body must co-operate in rendering such assistance in the discharge of the
functions to which the request relates as is reasonable in the circumstances. For
example, a housing authority may request another housing authority to co-operate in
providing information about a previous application. See paragraph 5.10 for further
guidance on s.213.
DECISIONS/NOTIFICATIONS
6.21. When a housing authority has completed its inquiries under s.184 it must notify the
applicant in writing of its decision on the case. Where the decision is against the
applicant’s interests, e.g. a decision that he or she is ineligible for assistance, not
homeless, not in priority need or homeless intentionally, the notification must explain
clearly and fully the reasons for the decision. If the housing authority has decided that
the conditions for referring the applicant’s homelessness case to another housing
authority have been met, they must notify the applicant of this and give their reasons
for doing so.
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6.22. All notifications must inform applicants of their right to request a review of the
housing authority’s decision and the time within which such a request must be made.
At this stage, it is also recommended that housing authorities explain the review
procedures. (See Chapter 19 for guidance on reviews of decisions and appeals to the
county court).
6.23. It will be important to ensure that the applicant fully understands the decision and the
nature of any housing duty that is owed. In cases where the applicant may have
difficulty understanding the implications of the decision, it is recommended that
housing authorities consider arranging for a member of staff to provide and explain
the notification in person.
6.24. Under s.193(3A), where the housing authority accepts a duty to secure
accommodation for an applicant under s.193(2), they must give the applicant a copy
of the statement included in their allocation scheme of the housing authority’s policy
on offering people a choice of housing or the opportunity to express their preferences
about the accommodation to be allocated to them. This statement is required to be
included in the allocation scheme under s.167(1A).
6.25. Section 184(6) provides that where a notification is not received by an applicant, it
can be treated as having been given to him or her, if it is made available at the housing
authority’s office for a reasonable period that would allow it to be collected by the
applicant or by someone acting on his or her behalf.
WITHDRAWN APPLICATIONS
6.26. It is recommended that housing authorities have procedures in place for dealing with
applications that are withdrawn or where someone fails to maintain contact with the
housing authority after making an application. The Secretary of State considers that it
would be reasonable to consider an application closed where there has been no contact
with the applicant for three months or longer. Any further approach from the applicant
after this time may need to be considered as a fresh application. Where an applicant
renews contact within three months the housing authority will need to consider any
change of circumstances that may affect the application.
FURTHER APPLICATIONS
6.27. There is no period of disqualification if someone wants to make a fresh application.
Where a person whose application has been previously considered and determined
under Part 7 makes a fresh application, the authority will need to decide whether there
are any new facts in the fresh application which render it different from the earlier
application. If no new facts are revealed, or any new facts are of a trivial nature, the
authority would not be required to consider the new application. However, where the
fresh application does reveal substantive new facts, the authority must treat the fresh
application in the same way as it would any other application for accommodation or
assistance in obtaining accommodation. Therefore, if the authority has reason to
believe that the person is homeless, or threatened with homelessness, the authority
should make inquiries under s.184 and decide whether any duty is owed under s.188(1).
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CHAPTER 7: INTERIM DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE
7.1.
This chapter provides guidance on housing authorities’ interim duty to secure
that accommodation is available for an applicant if they have reason to believe
that the applicant may be homeless, eligible for assistance and has a priority need.

7.2.
Section 188(1) imposes an interim duty on housing authorities to secure that
accommodation is available for an applicant (and his or her household) pending their
decision as to what duty, if any, is owed to the applicant under Part 7 of the Act if they
have reason to believe that the applicant may:
a) be homeless,
b) be eligible for assistance, and
c) have a priority need.
7.3.
The threshold for the duty is low as the local authority only has to have a reason to
believe that the applicant may be homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority
need. (See paragraph 6.5 for guidance on the “reason to believe” test.)
7.4.
The s.188(1) duty applies even where the authority considers the applicant may not
have a local connection with their district and may have one with the district of
another housing authority (s.188(2)). Applicants cannot be referred to another housing
authority unless the housing authority dealing with the application is satisfied that
s.193 applies (i.e. the applicant is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless
and has a priority need). (See Chapter 18 for guidance on referrals to other housing
authorities.)
SUITABILITY OF ACCOMMODATION
7.5.
The accommodation provided under s.188(1) must be suitable for the applicant and
his or her household and the suitability requirements under s.206(1) and s.210(1)
apply (see Chapter 17 for guidance on the suitability of accommodation). The
applicant does not have the right to ask for a review of the housing authority’s
decision as to the suitability of accommodation secured under the interim duty,
but housing authorities are reminded that such decisions could be subject to
judicial review.
7.6.
Housing authorities should avoid using Bed &Breakfast (B&B) accommodation
wherever possible. Where B&B accommodation has been used in an emergency
situation, applicants should be moved to more suitable accommodation as soon as
possible. The Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003
provides that B&B accommodation is not suitable accommodation for families with
children and households that include a pregnant woman unless there is no alternative
accommodation available and then only for a maximum of six weeks.
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DISCHARGING THE INTERIM DUTY
7.7.
Where the s.188(1) interim duty is being discharged, inquiries should be completed as
quickly as possible to minimise uncertainty for the applicant and the period for which
accommodation needs to be secured by the housing authority. (See Chapter 6 for
guidance on inquiries).
7.8.
Housing authorities can discharge their interim duty to secure accommodation by
providing their own accommodation or by arranging that it is provided by some other
person, or by providing advice and assistance so that it will be provided by some other
person. (See Chapter 16 for more information on discharging the duty to secure
accommodation).
ENDING THE INTERIM DUTY
7.9.
The s.188(1) interim duty ends once the housing authority has notified the applicant
of its decision as to what duty, if any, is owed to him or her under Part 7, even if the
applicant requests a review of the decision.
7.10. Where, having completed their inquiries, the housing authority is satisfied that they
are under no further duty to secure accommodation, they should give the applicant a
reasonable period of notice to vacate the accommodation to enable him or her to make
alternative accommodation arrangements for him/herself. The time allowed should be
reasonable when judged against the circumstances of the applicant. Housing
authorities should give the applicant time to consider whether to request a review of
their decision and, if a review is requested, will need to consider whether to exercise
their discretionary power under s.188(3) to secure that accommodation is available
(see paragraph 7.13 below).
7.11. It has been established that, as a general rule, accommodation provided pending
inquiries under s.184 does not create a tenancy or a licence under the Protection from
Eviction Act 1977
. The courts have applied this principle in cases where the
accommodation provided was B&B accommodation in a hotel and where it was a self-
contained flat. Consequently, where this general rule applies, housing authorities are
required only to provide an applicant with reasonable notice to vacate accommodation
provided under the interim duty, and do not need to apply for a possession order from
the court. Authorities should note, however, that this general rule may be displaced by
an agreement between the housing authority and the applicant, or if the occupation of
the accommodation is allowed to continue on more than a transient basis.
7.12. In cases involving applicants who have children under 18 where the housing authority
are satisfied that the applicant is ineligible for assistance, the housing authority must
alert the social services authority, or social services department, as appropriate, to the
case (see Chapter 13 for further guidance on co-operation with social services).
Applicants should be invited to consent to social services being notified of the case,
but in certain circumstances, for example where the housing authority are concerned
about the welfare of the child, they should disclose information about the case even
where consent has not been given.
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ACCOMMODATION PENDING A REVIEW
7.13. Where a review of a decision of a housing authority is requested under s.202, although
there is no duty under s.188(1), under s.188(3) the housing authority has a
discretionary power to provide accommodation pending the outcome of the review.
Failure to consider exercising this discretionary power could be the subject of
challenge by judicial review proceedings. Housing authorities are reminded that
applicants have 21 days in which to request a review of a decision. (See Chapter 19
for guidance on review of decisions and Chapter 15 for guidance on powers to
accommodate pending a review).
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CHAPTER 8: HOMELESS OR THREATENED WITH
HOMELESSNESS
8.1.
This chapter provides guidance on how to determine whether a person is
“homeless” or “threatened with homelessness” for the purposes of Part 7.

8.2.
Under s.184 of the 1996 Act, if a housing authority has reason to believe that a person
applying to the housing authority for accommodation, or assistance in obtaining
accommodation, may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, the housing
authority must make inquiries to satisfy itself whether the applicant is eligible for
assistance and if so, whether a duty is owed to that person under Part 7 of the 1996
Act (see Chapter 6 for guidance on applications for assistance).
THREATENED WITH HOMELESSNESS
8.3.
Under s.175(4), a person is “threatened with homelessness” if he or she is likely to
become homeless within 28 days. In many cases, effective intervention can enable
homelessness to be prevented or the loss of the current home to be delayed
sufficiently to allow for a planned move. The Secretary of State considers that housing
authorities should take steps to prevent homelessness wherever possible, offering a
broad range of advice and assistance for those in housing need. Authorities should not
wait until homelessness is a likelihood or is imminent before providing advice and
assistance. (See Chapter 2 for guidance on preventing homelessness).
HOMELESS
8.4.
There are a number of different factors that determine whether a person is homeless.
Under s.175, a person is homeless if he or she has no accommodation in the UK or
elsewhere which is available for his or her occupation and which that person has a
legal right to occupy. A person is also homeless if he or she has accommodation but
cannot secure entry to it, or the accommodation is a moveable structure, vehicle or
vessel designed or adapted for human habitation (such as a caravan or house boat) and
there is no place where it can be placed in order to provide accommodation. A person
who has accommodation is to be treated as homeless where it would not be reasonable
for him or her to continue to occupy that accommodation.
Available for occupation
8.5.
Section 176 provides that accommodation shall be treated as available for a person’s
occupation only if it is available for occupation by him or her together with:
i) any other person who normally resides with him or her as a member of the family,
or
ii) any other person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him or her.
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The first group covers those members of the family who normally reside with the
applicant. The phrase “as a member of the family” although not defined, will include
those with close blood or marital relationships and cohabiting partners (including
same sex partners), and, where such a person is an established member of the
household, the accommodation must provide for him or her as well. The second group
relates to any other person, and includes those who may not have been living as part
of the household at the time of the application, but whom it would be reasonable to
expect to live with the applicant as part of his or her household. Persons in the second
group might include a companion for an elderly or disabled person, or children who
are being fostered by the applicant or a member of his or her family. The second
group will also include those members of the family who were not living as part of the
household at the time of the application but who nonetheless might reasonably be
expected to form part of it.
8.6.
It is for the housing authority to assess whether any other person might reasonably be
expected to live with the applicant and there will be a range of situations that the
authority will need to consider. Persons who would normally live with the applicant
but who are unable to do so because there is no accommodation in which they can all
live together should be included in the assessment. When dealing with a family which
has split up, housing authorities will need to take a decision as to which members of
the family normally reside, or might be expected to reside, with the applicant. A court
may have made a residence order indicating with whom the children are to live, but in
many cases it will be a matter of agreement between the parents and a court will not
have been involved.
Legal right to occupy accommodation
8.7.
Under s.175(1), a person is homeless if he or she has no accommodation which he or
she can legally occupy by virtue of:
i)
an interest in it (e.g. as an owner, lessee or tenant) or by virtue of a court order; 
ii) an express or implied licence to occupy it (e.g. as a lodger, as an employee with a
service occupancy, or when living with a relative); or
iii) any enactment or rule of law giving him or her the right to remain in occupation
or restricting the right of another person to recover possession (e.g. a person
retaining possession as a statutory tenant under the Rent Acts where that person’s
contractual rights to occupy have expired or been terminated).
8.8.
A person who has been occupying accommodation as a licensee whose licence has
been terminated (and who does not have any other accommodation available for his or
her occupation) is homeless because he or she no longer has a legal right to continue
to occupy, despite the fact that that person may continue to occupy but as a trespasser.
This may include, for example:
i) those required to leave hostels or hospitals; or
ii) former employees occupying premises under a service occupancy which is
dependent upon contracts of employment which have ended.
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People asked to leave accommodation by family or friends
8.9.
Some applicants may have been asked to leave their current accommodation by family
or friends with whom they have been living. In such cases, the housing authority will
need to consider carefully whether the applicant’s licence to occupy the
accommodation has in fact been revoked. Housing authorities may need to interview
the parents or friends to establish whether they are genuinely revoking the licence to
occupy and rendering the applicants homeless. Authorities are encouraged to be
sensitive to situations where parents or carers may have been providing a home for a
family member with support needs (for example a person with learning difficulties)
for a number of years and who are genuinely finding it difficult to continue with that
arrangement, but are reluctant to revoke their licence to occupy formally until
alternative accommodation can be secured.
8.10. In some cases the applicant may be unable to stay in his or her accommodation and in
others there may be scope for preventing or postponing homelessness, and providing
the applicant with an opportunity to plan their future accommodation and pursue
various housing options with assistance from the housing authority. However, housing
authorities will need to be sensitive to the possibility that for some applicants it may
not be safe for them to remain in, or return to, their home because of a risk of
violence or abuse.
8.11. In areas of high demand for affordable housing, people living with family and friends
may have genuine difficulties in finding alternative accommodation that can lead to
friction and disputes within their current home, culminating in a threat of
homelessness. In some cases external support, or the promise of assistance with
alternative housing, may help to reduce tension and prevent homelessness. The use of
family mediation services may assist here.
8.12. Housing authorities will also need to be alert to the possibility of collusion where
family or friends agree to revoke a licence to occupy accommodation as part of an
arrangement whose purpose is to enable the applicant to be entitled to assistance
under Part 7. Some parents and children, for example, may seek to take advantage of
the fact that 16 and 17 year old applicants have a priority need for accommodation
(see also Chapter 11 on intentional homelessness).
16 and 17 year olds
8.13. The Secretary of State considers that, generally, it will be in the best interests of 16
and 17 year olds to live in the family home, unless it would be unsafe or unsuitable for
them to do so because they would be at risk of violence or abuse. See Chapter 12 for
further guidance on 16 and 17 year olds.
Tenant given notice
8.14. With certain exceptions, a person who has been occupying accommodation as a tenant
and who has received a valid notice to quit, or notice that the landlord requires
possession of the accommodation, would have the right to remain in occupation until a
warrant for possession was executed (following the granting of an order for possession
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by the court). The exceptions are tenants with resident landlords and certain other
tenants who do not benefit from the Protection from Eviction Act 1977However,
authorities should note that the fact that a tenant has a right to remain in
occupation does not necessarily mean that he or she is not homeless. 
In assessing
whether an applicant is homeless in cases where he or she is a tenant who has a right
to remain in occupation pending execution of a warrant for possession, the housing
authority will also need to consider whether it would be reasonable for him or her 
to continue to occupy the accommodation in the circumstances (see paragraphs
8.30-8.32 below).
8.15. Some tenants may face having to leave their accommodation because their landlord
has defaulted on the mortgage of the property they rent. Where a mortgage lender
starts possession proceedings, the lender is obliged to give written notice of the
proceedings to the occupiers of the property before an order for possession is granted.
The notice must be given after issue of the possession summons and at least 14 days
before the court hearing. As for tenants given notice that the landlord requires
possession of the accommodation (see paragraph 8.14 above), authorities will need to
consider whether it would be reasonable for a tenant to continue to occupy the
accommodation after receiving notice of possession proceedings from the lender.
Inability to secure entry to accommodation
8.16. Under s.175(2), a person is homeless if he or she has a legal entitlement to
accommodation, but is unable to secure entry to it, for example:
• those who have been evicted illegally, or
• those whose accommodation is being occupied illegally by squatters.
Although legal remedies may be available to the applicant to regain possession of the
accommodation, housing authorities cannot refuse to assist while he or she is actually
homeless.
Accommodation consisting of a moveable structure
8.17. Section 175(2)(b) provides that a person is homeless if he or she has accommodation
available for his or her occupation which is a moveable structure, vehicle or vessel
designed or adapted for human habitation (e.g. a caravan or houseboat), and there is
nowhere that he or she is entitled or permitted to place it and reside in it. The site or
mooring for the moveable structure need not be permanent in order to avoid
homelessness. In many cases the nature of the structure may reflect the itinerant
lifestyle of the applicant, who may not be looking for a permanent site but somewhere
to park or moor on a temporary basis.
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Reasonable to continue to occupy
8.18. Section 175(3) provides that a person shall not be treated as having accommodation
unless it is accommodation which it would be reasonable for him or her to continue to
occupy. There are a number of provisions relating to whether or not it is reasonable for
someone to continue to occupy accommodation and these are discussed below. There
is no simple test of reasonableness. It is for the housing authority to make a judgement
on the facts of each case, taking into account the circumstances of the applicant.
Domestic violence or other violence
8.19. Section 177(1) provides that it is not reasonable for a person to continue to occupy
accommodation if it is probable that this will lead to domestic violence or other
violence against:
i)
the applicant;
ii) a person who normally resides as a member of the applicant’s family; or
iii) any other person who might reasonably be expected to reside with the applicant.
Section 177(1A) provides that violence means violence from another person or threats
of violence from another person which are likely to be carried out. Domestic violence
is violence from a person who is associated with the victim and also includes threats
of violence which are likely to be carried out. Domestic violence is not confined to
instances within the home but extends to violence outside the home.
8.20. Section 178 provides that, for the purposes of defining domestic violence, a person is
associated with another if:
(a) they are, or have been, married to each other;
(b) they are or have been civil partners of each other;
(c) they are, or have been, cohabitants (including same sex partners);
(d) they live, or have lived, in the same household;
(e) they are relatives, i.e. father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter,
stepson, stepdaughter, grandmother, grandfather, grandson, granddaughter,
brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew (whether of full blood, half blood or
by affinity) of that person or of that person’s spouse or former spouse. A person is
also included if he or she would fall into any of these categories in relation to
cohabitees or former cohabitees if they were married to each other;
(f) they have agreed to marry each other whether or not that agreement has been
terminated;
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(g) they have entered into a civil partnership agreement between them whether or not
that agreement has been terminated;
(h) in relation to a child, each of them is a parent of the child or has, or has had,
parental responsibility for the child (within the meaning of the Children Act
1989). A child is a person under 18 years of age;
(i) if a child has been adopted or freed for adoption (s.16(1) Adoption Act 1976), two
persons are also associated if one is the natural parent or grandparent of the child
and the other is the child of a person who has become the parent by virtue of an
adoption order (s.72(1) Adoption Act 1976) or has applied for an adoption order or
someone with whom the child has been placed for adoption.
8.21. The Secretary of State considers that the term ‘violence’ should not be given a
restrictive meaning, and that ‘domestic violence’ should be understood to include
threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or
emotional) between persons who are, or have been, intimate partners, family members
or members of the same household, regardless of gender or sexuality.
8.22. An assessment of the likelihood of a threat of violence being carried out should not be
based on whether there has been actual violence in the past. An assessment must be
based on the facts of the case and devoid of any value judgements about what an
applicant should or should not do, or should or should not have done, to mitigate the
risk of any violence (e.g. seek police help or apply for an injunction against the
perpetrator). Inquiries into cases where violence is alleged will need careful handling.
See Chapter 6 for further guidance.
8.23. In cases involving violence, housing authorities may wish to inform applicants of the
option of seeking an injunction, but should make clear that there is no obligation on
the applicant to do so. Where applicants wish to pursue this option, it is advisable that
they obtain independent advice as an injunction may be ill-advised in some
circumstances. Housing authorities should recognise that injunctions ordering a person
not to molest, or enter the home of, an applicant may not be effective in deterring
perpetrators from carrying out further violence or incursions, and applicants may not
have confidence in their effectiveness. Consequently, applicants should not be
expected to return home on the strength of an injunction. To ensure applicants who
have experienced actual or threatened violence get the support they need, authorities
should inform them of appropriate organisations in the area such as agencies offering
counselling and support as well as specialist advice.
8.24. When dealing with cases involving violence, or threat of violence, from outside the
home, housing authorities should consider the option of improving the security of the
applicant’s home to enable him or her to continue to live there safely, where that is an
option that the applicant wishes to pursue. In some cases, immediate action to improve
security within the victim’s home may prevent homelessness. A fast response
combined with support from the housing authority, police and the voluntary sector
may provide a victim with the confidence to remain in their home. When dealing with
domestic violence within the home, where the authority is the landlord, housing
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authorities should consider the scope for evicting the perpetrator and allowing the
victim to remain in their home. However, where there would be a probability of
violence if the applicant continued to occupy his or her present accommodation,
the housing authority must treat the applicant as homeless and should not expect
him or her to remain in, or return to, the accommodation. In all cases involving
violence the safety of the applicant and his or her household should be the
primary consideration at all stages of decision making as to whether or not the
applicant remains in their own home.

8.25. The effectiveness of housing authorities’ services to assist victims of domestic
violence and prevent further domestic violence is measured by Best Value
Performance Indicator BVPI 225. Guidance on BVPI 225 is available at
www.communities.gov.uk.
General housing circumstances in the district
8.26. Section 177(2) provides that, in determining whether it is reasonable for a person to
continue to occupy accommodation, housing authorities may have regard to the
general housing circumstances prevailing in the housing authority’s district.
8.27. This would apply, for example, where it was suggested that an applicant was homeless
because of poor physical conditions in his or her current home. In such cases it would
be open to the authority to consider whether the condition of the property was so bad
in comparison with other accommodation in the district that it would not be
reasonable to expect someone to continue to live there. 
8.28. Circumstances where an applicant may be homeless as a result of his or her
accommodation being overcrowded should also be considered in relation to the
general housing circumstances in the district. Statutory overcrowding, within the
meaning of Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985, may not by itself be sufficient to
determine reasonableness, but it can be a contributory factor if there are other factors
which suggest unreasonableness.
Affordability
8.29. One factor that must be considered in all cases is affordability. The Homelessness
(Suitability of Accommodation) Order 1996 (SI 1996 No.3204) requires the housing
authority to consider the affordability of the accommodation for the applicant. The
Order specifies, among other things, that in determining whether it would be (or
would have been) reasonable for a person to continue to occupy accommodation, a
housing authority must take into account whether the accommodation is affordable for
him or her and must, in particular, take account of:
(a) the financial resources available to him or her;
(b) the costs in respect of the accommodation;
(c) maintenance payments (to a spouse, former spouse or in respect of a child); and
(d) his or her reasonable living expenses.
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Tenant given notice of intention to recover possession
8.30. In cases where the applicant has been occupying accommodation as a tenant and has
received a valid notice to quit, or a notice that the landlord intends to recover
possession, housing authorities should consider the scope for preventing homelessness
through consulting the landlord at an early stage to explore the possibility of the
tenancy being allowed to continue or the tenant being allowed to remain for a
reasonable period to provide an opportunity for alternative accommodation to be
found. If the landlord is not persuaded to agree, the authority will need to consider
whether it would be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the
accommodation once the valid notice has expired.
8.31. In determining whether it would be reasonable for an applicant to continue to occupy
accommodation, the housing authority will need to consider all the factors relevant to
the case and decide the weight that individual factors should attract. As well as the
factors set out elsewhere in this chapter, other factors which may be relevant include
the general cost to the housing authority, the position of the tenant, the position of the
landlord, the likelihood that the landlord will actually proceed with possession
proceedings, and the burden on the courts of unnecessary proceedings where there is
no defence to a possession claim (see paragraphs 8.14 and 8.15 above for guidance on
the right to occupy where notice of possession proceedings has been given).
8.32. Each case must be decided on its facts, so housing authorities should not adopt a
general policy of accepting – or refusing to accept – applicants as homeless or
threatened with homelessness when they are threatened with eviction but a court
has not yet made an order for possession or issued a warrant of execution
. In any
case where a housing authority decides that it would be reasonable for an applicant to
continue to occupy their accommodation after a valid notice has expired – and
therefore decides that he or she is not yet homeless or threatened with homelessness –
that decision will need to be based on sound reasons which should be made clear to
the applicant in writing (see Chapter 6 for guidance on housing authorities’ duties to
inform applicants of their decisions). The Secretary of State considers that where a
person applies for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation,
and:

(a) the person is an assured shorthold tenant who has received proper notice in
accordance with s.21 of the Housing Act 1988;
(b) the housing authority is satisfied that the landlord intends to seek possession;
and

(c) there would be no defence to an application for a possession order;
then it is unlikely to be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the
accommodation beyond the date given in the s.21 notice, unless the housing
authority is taking steps to persuade the landlord to withdraw the notice or allow
the tenant to continue to occupy the accommodation for a reasonable period to
provide an opportunity for alternative accommodation to be found.

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8.32a. Authorities are reminded that an applicant cannot be treated as intentionally homeless
unless it would have been reasonable for him or her to have continued to occupy the
accommodation. Guidance on ‘intentional homelessness’ is provided in Chapter 11.
Former armed forces personnel required to leave service accommodation
8.33. The Ministry of Defence recognises that housing authorities will need to be satisfied
that entitlement to occupy service accommodation will end on a certain date, in order
to determine whether applicants who are service personnel and who are approaching
their date of discharge may be homeless or threatened with homelessness. For this
purpose, the MOD issues a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service
Living Accommodation 
six months before discharge (see examples at Annexes 14 and
15). These certificates indicate the date on which entitlement to occupy service
accommodation ends, and the Secretary of State considers that housing authorities
should not insist upon a court order for possession to establish that entitlement to
occupy has ended. Authorities should take advantage of the six-month period of notice
of discharge to ensure that service personnel receive timely and comprehensive advice
on the housing options available to them when they leave the armed forces.
Other relevant factors
8.34. Other factors which may be relevant in determining whether it would be reasonable
for an applicant to continue to occupy accommodation include:
physical characteristics: it would not be reasonable for an applicant to continue to
occupy accommodation if the physical characteristics of the accommodation were
unsuitable for the applicant because, for example, he or she was a wheelchair user and
access was limited.
type of accommodation: some types of accommodation, for example women’s
refuges, direct access hostels, and night shelters are intended to provide very short-
term, temporary accommodation in a crisis and it should not be regarded as reasonable
to continue to occupy such accommodation in the medium and longer-term.
people fleeing harassment: in some cases severe harassment may fall short of actual
violence or threats of violence likely to be carried out. Housing authorities should
consider carefully whether it would be, or would have been, reasonable for an
applicant to continue to occupy accommodation in circumstances where they have
fled, or are seeking to leave, their home because of non-violent forms of harassment,
for example verbal abuse or damage to property. Careful consideration should be
given to applicants who may be at risk of witness intimidation. In some criminal cases
the police may provide alternative accommodation for witnesses, but usually this will
apply for the duration of the trial only. Witnesses may have had to give up their home
or may feel unable to return to it when the trial has finished.
This is not an exhaustive list and authorities will need to take account of all relevant
factors when considering whether it is reasonable for an applicant to continue to
occupy accommodation.
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CHAPTER 9: ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE
GENERAL
9.1.
Part 7 of the 1996 Act includes provisions that make certain persons from abroad
ineligible for housing assistance. Housing authorities will therefore need to satisfy
themselves that applicants are eligible before providing housing assistance. The
provisions on eligibility are complex and housing authorities will need to ensure that
they have procedures in place to carry out appropriate checks on housing applicants.
9.2.
Housing authorities should ensure that staff who are required to screen housing
applicants about eligibility for assistance are given training in the complexities of the
housing provisions, the housing authority’s duties and responsibilities under the race
relations legislation and how to deal with applicants in a sensitive manner.
9.3.
Local authorities are reminded that Schedule 3 to the Nationality, Immigration and
Asylum Act 2002 
provides that certain persons shall not be eligible for support or
assistance provided through the exercise of local housing authorities’ powers to secure
accommodation pending a review (s.188(3)) or pending an appeal to the county court
(s.204(4)). See paragraph 9.22 below.
PERSONS FROM ABROAD
9.4.
A person will not be eligible for assistance under Part 7 if he or she is a person from
abroad who is ineligible for housing assistance under s.185 of the 1996 Act. There are
two categories of ‘person from abroad’ for the purposes s.185:
(i)
a person subject to immigration control – such a person is not eligible for
housing assistance unless he or she comes within a class prescribed in regulations
made by the Secretary of State, and 
(ii) a person from abroad other than a person subject to immigration control – the
Secretary of State can make regulations to provide for other descriptions of
person from abroad who, although they are not subject to immigration control,
are to be treated as ineligible for housing assistance.
9.5.
The regulations that set out which classes of persons from abroad are eligible or
ineligible for housing assistance are the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness
(Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 
(SI 2006 No.1294) (“the Eligibility
Regulations”). Persons subject to immigration control are not eligible for housing
assistance unless they fall within a class of persons prescribed in regulation 5 of the
Eligibility Regulations. Persons who are not subject to immigration control will be
eligible for housing assistance unless they fall within a description of persons who are
to be treated as persons from abroad who are ineligible for assistance by virtue of
regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations. 
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PERSONS SUBJECT TO IMMIGRATION CONTROL
9.6.
The term ‘person subject to immigration control’ is defined in s.13(2) of the Asylum
and Immigration Act 1996 
as a person who requires leave to enter or remain in the
United Kingdom (whether or not such leave has been given). 
9.7.
Only the following categories of person do not require leave to enter or remain in the
UK:
(i)
British citizens;
(ii) certain Commonwealth citizens with a right of abode in the UK;
(iii) citizens of an EEA country, (“EEA nationals”) and their family members, who
have a right to reside in the UK that derives from EC law. The question of
whether an EEA national (or family member) has a particular right to reside in
the UK (or in another Member State e.g. the Republic of Ireland) will depend on
the circumstances, particularly the economic status of the EEA national (e.g.
whether he or she is a worker, self-employed, a student, or economically inactive
etc.). See Annex 12 for further guidance on rights to reside;
(iv) persons who are exempt from immigration control under the Immigration Acts,
including diplomats and their family members based in the United Kingdom, and
some military personnel.
For the purposes of this guidance, “EEA nationals” means nationals of any of the EU
member states (excluding the UK), and nationals of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein
and Switzerland.
9.8.
Any person who does not fall within one of the 4 categories in paragraph 9.7 above
will be a person subject to immigration control and will be ineligible for housing
assistance unless they fall within a class of persons prescribed by regulation 5 of the
Eligibility Regulations (see paragraph 9.10 below).
9.9.
If there is any uncertainty about an applicant’s immigration status, it is recommended
that authorities contact the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate,
using the procedures set out in Annex 8. In some circumstances, local authorities may
be under a duty to contact the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (see paragraph
9.24).
Persons subject to immigration control who are eligible for 
housing assistance

9.10. Generally, persons subject to immigration control are not eligible for housing
assistance. However, by virtue of regulation 5 of the Eligibility Regulations, the
following classes of person subject to immigration control are eligible for housing
assistance:
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(i)
a person granted refugee status: a person is granted refugee status when his or
her request for asylum is accepted. Persons granted refugee status are granted 5
years’ limited leave to remain in the UK. (Prior to 30 August 2005, it was the
policy to provide immediate settlement (indefinite leave to remain) for persons
granted refugee status.)
(ii) a person granted exceptional leave to enter or remain in the UK without
condition that they and any dependants should make no recourse to public funds:
this status is granted to persons, including some persons whose claim for asylum
has been refused, for a limited period where there are compelling humanitarian
and/or compassionate circumstances for allowing them to stay. However, if leave
was granted on condition that the applicant and any dependants should not be a
charge on public funds, the applicant will not be eligible for homelessness
assistance. Since April 2003, exceptional leave to remain (which is granted at the
Secretary of State’s discretion outside the Immigration Rules) has taken the form
of either humanitarian protection or discretionary leave.
(iii) a person with current leave to enter or remain in the UK with no condition or
limitation, and who is habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle
of Man or the Republic of Ireland
: such a person will have indefinite leave to
enter (ILE) or remain (ILR) and will be regarded as having settled status.
However, where ILE or ILR status was granted as a result of an undertaking that
a sponsor would be responsible for the applicant’s maintenance and
accommodation, the person must have been resident in the UK, the Channel
Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland for five years since the date of
entry – or the date of the sponsorship undertaking, whichever is later – for the
applicant to be eligible. Where a sponsor has (or, if there was more than one
sponsor, all of the sponsors have) died within the first five years, the applicant
will be eligible for housing assistance;
(iv) a person who left the territory of Montserrat after 1 November 1995 because of
the effect on that territory of a volcanic eruption. (See paragraph 9.19 below.)
Asylum seekers
9.11. Asylum seekers will almost always be persons subject to immigration control.
Asylum seekers who are persons subject to immigration control and whose claim
for asylum was made after 2 April 2000 are not eligible for assistance under Part
7 of the 1996 Act. 
Some asylum seekers whose claim for asylum was made before 3
April 2000 would be eligible for assistance under Part 7 in certain limited
circumstances, but the number of persons who fall in these classes is likely to be very
small (if any). Annex 9 provides guidance on the limited categories of asylum seekers
eligible for assistance under Part 7 of the 1996 Act.
9.12. Under s.186 of the 1996 Act, an asylum seeker who would otherwise be eligible for
assistance under the Eligibility Regulations, will be ineligible, if he or she has any
accommodation available in the UK for his or her occupation, however temporary.
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OTHER PERSONS FROM ABROAD WHO MAY BE
INELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE

9.13. By virtue of regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations, a person who is not subject to
immigration control and who falls within one of the following descriptions of persons
is to be treated as a person from abroad who is ineligible for housing assistance:
(i)
a person who is not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of
Man or the Republic of Ireland (subject to certain exceptions – see paragraph
9.14 below);
(ii) a person whose only right to reside in the UK is derived from his status as a
jobseeker (or his status as the family member of a jobseeker). For this purpose,
“jobseeker” has the same meaning as for the purpose of regulation 6(1)(a) of the
Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 1003)
(“the EEA Regulations”);
(iii) a person whose only right to reside in the UK is an initial right to reside for a
period not exceeding three months under regulation 13 of the EEA Regulations;
(iv) a person whose only right to reside in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the
Republic of Ireland is a right equivalent to one of the rights mentioned in (ii) or
(iii) above and which is derived from the Treaty establishing the European
Community (“the EC Treaty”).
See Annex 12 for guidance on rights to reside in the UK derived from EC law.
Persons exempted from the requirement to be habitually resident
9.14. Certain persons from abroad (not being persons subject to immigration control) will
be eligible for housing assistance even though they are not habitually resident in the
UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. Such a person
will be eligible for assistance even if not habitually resident, if he or she is:
(a) an EEA national who is in the UK as a worker (which has the same meaning as it
does for the purposes of regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations);
(b) an EEA national who is in the UK as a self-employed person (which has the same
meaning as it does for the purposes of regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations);
(c) a person who is an accession state worker requiring registration who is treated as
a worker for the purposes of regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations, pursuant to
the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004, as
amended;
(d) a person who is a family member of a person referred to in (a) to (c) above;
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(e) a person with a right to reside permanently in the UK by virtue of regulation
15(c), (d) or (e) of the EEA Regulations (see Annex 12);
(f) a person who left Montserrat after 1 November 1995 because of the effect of
volcanic activity there (see paragraph 9.19 below);
(g) a person who is in the UK as a result of his or her deportation, expulsion or other
removal by compulsion of law from another country to the UK (see paragraph
9.21 below). 
On (a) and (b), authorities should note that a person who is no longer working or no
longer in self-employment will retain his or her status as a worker or self-employed
person in certain circumstances. (See Annex 12 for further guidance.) On (c),
authorities should note that accession state workers requiring registration will
generally only be treated as a worker when they are actually working and will not
retain ‘worker’ status in the circumstances referred to above. (See annexes 12 and 13
for further guidance.) On (d), authorities should note that ‘family member’ does not
include a person who is an extended family member who is treated as a family
member by virtue of regulation 7(3) of the EEA Regulations (see Annex 12 for further
guidance). 
The habitual residence test
9.15. The term “habitual residence” is intended to convey a degree of permanence in the
person’s residence in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of
Ireland; it implies an association between the individual and the place of residence and
relies substantially on fact.
9.16. The Secretary of State considers that it is likely that applicants who have been resident
in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland continuously
during the 2-year period prior to their housing application will be habitually resident.
In such cases, therefore, housing authorities may consider it unnecessary to make
further enquiries to determine whether the person is habitually resident, unless there
are other circumstances that need to be taken into account. A period of continuous
residence in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
might include periods of temporary absence, e.g. visits abroad for holidays or to visit
relatives. Where two years’ continuous residency has not been established, housing
authorities will need to conduct further enquiries to determine whether the applicant is
habitually resident.
9.17. A person will not generally be habitually resident anywhere unless he or she has taken
up residence and lived there for a period. There will be cases where the person
concerned is not coming to the UK for the first time, and is resuming a previous
period of habitual residence.
9.18. Annex 10 provides guidance on the factors that a housing authority should consider in
determining whether an applicant is habitually resident.
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Persons from Montserrat
9.19. The classes of persons (not being persons subject to immigration control) who are not
required to be habitually resident in order to be eligible for assistance under Part 7
include a person who left Montserrat after 1 November 1995 because of the effect of
volcanic activity there. 
9.20. On 21 May 2002 most British overseas territories citizens, including those from
Montserrat, became British Citizens. Since their new EU-style passport will not
identify that they are from Montserrat, it has been recommended that they should also
retain their old British Overseas Citizen passport, to help them demonstrate eligibility
for, among other things, housing assistance in the UK.
Persons deported, expelled or removed to the UK from another country
9.21. Persons who are in the UK as a result of their deportation, expulsion or other removal
by compulsion of law from another country to the UK will generally be UK nationals.
(However, such persons could include EEA nationals, where the UK immigration
authorities were satisfied that the person was settled in the UK and exercising EC
Treaty rights prior to deportation from the third country.) Where deportation occurs,
most countries will signal this in the person’s passport and provide them with reasons
for their removal. This should enable such persons to identify their circumstances
when making an application for housing assistance. 
PERSONS INELIGIBLE UNDER CERTAIN PROVISIONS BY
VIRTUE OF SCHEDULE 3 TO THE NATIONALITY, IMMIGRATION
AND ASYLUM ACT 2002

9.22. Section 54 of, and Schedule 3 to, the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
have the effect of making certain applicants for housing assistance ineligible for
accommodation under s.188(3) (power to accommodate pending a review) or s.204(4)
(power to accommodate pending an appeal to the county court) of the 1996 Act. The
following classes of person will be ineligible for assistance under those powers: 
(i)
a person who has refugee status abroad, i.e. a person:
– who does not have the nationality of an EEA State, and
– who the government of an EEA State other than the UK has determined is
entitled to protection as a refugee under the Refugee Convention;
(ii) a person who has the nationality of an EEA State other than the UK (but see
paragraph 9.23 below);
(iii) a person who was (but is no longer) an asylum seeker and who fails to cooperate
with removal directions issued in respect of him or her;
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(iv) a person who is in the UK in breach of the immigration laws (within the meaning
of s.11 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002and is not an
asylum seeker
;
(v) certain persons who are failed asylum seekers with dependent children, where the
Secretary of State has certified that, in his opinion, such a person has failed
without reasonable excuse to take reasonable steps to leave the UK voluntarily or
place himself or herself in a position where he or she is able to leave the UK
voluntarily, and that person has received the Secretary of State’s certificate more
than 14 days previously;
(vi) a person who is the dependant of a person who falls within class (i), (ii), (iii) or
(v) above.
9.23. However, s.54 and Schedule 3 do not prevent the exercise of an authority’s powers
under s.188(3) and s.204(4) of the 1996 Act to the extent that such exercise is
necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of a person’s rights under the
European Convention of Human Rights or rights under the EC Treaties. 
Among
other things, this means that a local authority can exercise these powers to
accommodate an EEA national who has a right to reside in the UK under EC law (see
Annex 12). 
9.24. Paragraph 14 of Schedule 3 provides, among other things, that authorities must inform
the Secretary of State where the powers under s.188(3) or s.204(4) apply, or may
apply, to a person who is, or may come, within classes (iii), (iv) or (v) in paragraph
9.22 (by contacting the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate).
9.25. For further guidance, local authorities should refer to Guidance to Local Authorities
and Housing Authorities about the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, Section
54 and Schedule 3, and the Withholding and Withdrawal of Support (Travel Assistance
and Temporary Accommodation) Regulations 2002
, issued by the Home Office. 
ELIGIBILITY – LIST OF RELATED ANNEXES:
ANNEX 8
HOW TO CONTACT THE HOME OFFICE IMMIGRATION 
AND NATIONALITY DIRECTORATE
ANNEX 9
ASYLUM SEEKERS
ANNEX 10 THE HABITUAL RESIDENCE TEST
ANNEX 11 EUROPEAN GROUPINGS (EU, A8, EEA, SWITZERLAND)
ANNEX 12 RIGHTS TO RESIDE IN THE UK DERIVED FROM EC LAW
ANNEX 13 WORKER REGISTRATION SCHEME
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CHAPTER 10: PRIORITY NEED
This chapter provides guidance on the categories of applicant who have a priority need
for accommodation under the homelessness legislation.

10.1. Under the homelessness legislation, housing authorities must have a strategy for
preventing homelessness and ensuring that accommodation and support are available
to anyone in their district who is homeless or at risk of homelessness. They must also
provide advice and assistance on housing and homelessness prevention to anyone in
their district, free of charge. Stronger duties to secure accommodation exist for
households who have a priority need for accommodation. Since 2002, the priority
need categories have embraced a wider range of people whose age or background puts
them at greater risk when homeless, including more single people.
10.2. The main homelessness duties in s.193(2) and s.195(2) of the 1996 Act (to secure
accommodation or take reasonable steps to prevent the loss of accommodation) apply
only to applicants who have a priority need for accommodation. Section 189(1) and
the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002 provide
that the following categories of applicant have a priority need for accommodation:
i)
a pregnant woman or a person with whom she resides or might reasonably be
expected to reside (see paragraph 10.5);
ii)
a person with whom dependent children reside or might reasonably be expected
to reside (see paragraphs 10.6-10.11);
iii) a person who is vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or
physical disability or other special reason, or with whom such a person resides or
might reasonably be expected to reside (see paragraphs 10.12-10.18);
iv) a person aged 16 or 17 who is not a ‘relevant child’ or a child in need to whom a
local authority owes a duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (see
paragraphs 10.36-10.39);
v)
a person under 21 who was (but is no longer) looked after, accommodated or
fostered between the ages of 16 and 18 (except a person who is a ‘relevant
student’) (see paragraphs 10.40-10.41);
vi) a person aged 21 or more who is vulnerable as a result of having been looked
after, accommodated or fostered (except a person who is a ‘relevant student’)
(see paragraphs 10.19-10.20);
vii) a person who is vulnerable as a result of having been a member of Her Majesty’s
regular naval, military or air forces (see paragraphs 10.21-10.23);
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viii) a person who is vulnerable as a result of:
(a) having served a custodial sentence,
(b) having been committed for contempt of court or any other kindred offence, or
(c) having been remanded in custody;
(see paragraphs 10.24-10.27)
ix) a person who is vulnerable as a result of ceasing to occupy accommodation
because of violence from another person or threats of violence from another
person which are likely to be carried out (see paragraphs 10.28-10.29);
x)
a person who is vulnerable for any other special reason, or with whom such a
person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside (see paragraphs
10.30-10.35);
xi) a person who is homeless, or threatened with homelessness, as a result of an
emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster (see paragraph 10.42).
10.3. Inquiries as to whether an applicant has a priority need must be carried out in all cases
where the housing authority has reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless
or threatened with homelessness, and is eligible for assistance (s.184). Moreover,
where the housing authority has reason to believe that the applicant is homeless,
eligible for assistance and in priority need, they will have an immediate duty to secure
interim accommodation, pending a decision on the case (see Chapter 7).
10.4. Once a housing authority has notified an applicant that he or she has a priority need
and has been accepted as owed the main homelessness duty (s.193(2)) it cannot –
unless the decision is subject to a request for a review – change the decision if the
applicant subsequently ceases to have a priority need (e.g. because a dependent child
leaves home). Any change of circumstance prior to the decision on the homelessness
application should be taken into account. However, once all the relevant inquiries are
completed, the housing authority should not defer making a decision on the case in
anticipation of a possible change of circumstance. (See Chapter 19 for guidance
on reviews.)
PREGNANT WOMEN
10.5. A pregnant woman, and anyone with whom she lives or might reasonably be expected
to live, has a priority need for accommodation. This is regardless of the length of time
that the woman has been pregnant. Housing authorities should seek normal
confirmation of pregnancy, e.g. a letter from a medical professional, such as a
midwife, should be adequate evidence of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman suffers a
miscarriage or terminates her pregnancy during the assessment process the housing
authority should consider whether she continues to have a priority need as a result of
some other factor (e.g. she may be vulnerable as a result of an other special reason –
see paragraph 10.30).
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DEPENDENT CHILDREN
10.6. Applicants have a priority need if they have one or more dependent children who
normally live with them or who might reasonably be expected to live with them. There
must be actual dependence on the applicant, although the child need not be wholly
and exclusively dependent on him or her. There must also be actual residence (or a
reasonable expectation of residence) with some degree of permanence or regularity,
rather than a temporary arrangement whereby the children are merely staying with the
applicant for a limited period (see paragraphs 10.9 and 10.10). Similarly, the child
need not be wholly and exclusively resident (or expected to reside wholly and
exclusively) with the applicant.
10.7. The 1996 Act does not define dependent children, but housing authorities may wish to
treat as dependent all children under 16, and all children aged 16-18 who are in, or are
about to begin, full-time education or training or who for other reasons are unable to
support themselves and who live at home. The meaning of dependency is not,
however, limited to financial dependency. Thus, while children aged 16 and over who
are in full-time employment and are financially independent of their parents would not
normally be considered to be dependants, housing authorities should remember that
such children may not be sufficiently mature to live independently of their parents,
and there may be sound reasons for considering them to be dependent. Each case will
need to be carefully considered according to the circumstances.
10.8. Dependent children need not necessarily be the applicant’s own children but could, for
example, be related to the applicant or his or her partner or be adopted or fostered by
the applicant. There must, however, be some form of parent/child relationship.
10.9. Housing authorities may receive applications from a parent who is separated from his
or her former spouse or partner. In some cases where parents separate, the court may
make a residence order indicating with which parent the child normally resides. In
such cases, the child may be considered to reside with the parent named in the order,
and would not normally be expected to reside with the other parent. However, in many
cases the parents come to an agreement themselves as to how the child is to be cared
for, and a court order will not be made or required.
10.10. Residence does not have to be full-time and a child can be considered to reside with
either parent even where he or she divides his or her time between both parents.
However, as mentioned above, there must be some regularity to the arrangement. If
the child is not currently residing with the applicant, the housing authority will need
to decide whether, in the circumstances, it would be reasonable for the child to do so.
An agreement between a child’s parents, or a joint residence order by a court, may not
automatically lead to a conclusion that it would be reasonable for the child to reside
with the parent making the application, and housing authorities will need to consider
each case individually. However, housing authorities should remember that where
parents separate, it will often be in the best interests of the child to maintain a
relationship with both parents. 
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10.11. Where the applicant’s children are being looked after by a social services authority –
for example, they are subject to a care order or are being accommodated under a
voluntary agreement – and they are not currently living with the applicant, liaison
with the social services authority will be essential. Joint consideration with social
services will ensure that the best interests of the applicant and the children are served.
This may, for example, enable a family to be reunited subject to suitable
accommodation being available.
VULNERABILITY 
10.12. A person has a priority need for accommodation if he or she is vulnerable as a result
of:
i)
old age;
ii)
mental illness or learning disability (mental handicap) or physical disability;
iii) having been looked after, accommodated or fostered and is aged 21 or more;
iv) having been a member of Her Majesty’s regular naval, military or air forces;
v)
having been in custody or detention;
vi) ceasing to occupy accommodation because of violence from another person or
threats of violence from another person which are likely to be carried out; or
vii) any other special reason.
In the case of i), ii) and vii) only, a person with whom a vulnerable person lives or
might reasonably be expected to live also has a priority need for accommodation and
can therefore make an application on behalf of themselves and that vulnerable person.
10.13. It is a matter of judgement whether the applicant’s circumstances make him or
her vulnerable. When determining whether an applicant in any of the categories
set out in paragraph 10.12 is vulnerable, the local authority should consider
whether, when homeless, the applicant would be less able to fend for him/herself
than an ordinary homeless person so that he or she would suffer injury or
detriment, in circumstances where a less vulnerable person would be able to cope
without harmful effects.

10.14. Some of the factors which may be relevant to determining whether a particular
category of applicant is vulnerable are set out below. The assessment of an
applicant’s ability to cope is a composite one taking into account all of the
circumstances. The applicant’s vulnerability must be assessed on the basis that he
or she is or will become homeless, and not on his or her ability to fend for him or
herself while still housed.

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Old age
10.15. Old age alone is not sufficient for the applicant to be deemed vulnerable. However, it
may be that as a result of old age the applicant would be less able to fend for him or
herself as provided in paragraph 10.13 above. All applications from people aged over
60 need to be considered carefully, particularly where the applicant is leaving tied
accommodation. However, housing authorities should not use 60 (or any other age) as
a fixed age beyond which vulnerability occurs automatically (or below which it can be
ruled out); each case will need to be considered in the light of the individual
circumstances.
Mental illness or learning disability or physical disability
10.16. Housing authorities should have regard to any advice from medical professionals,
social services or current providers of care and support. In cases where there is doubt
as to the extent of any vulnerability authorities may also consider seeking a clinical
opinion. However, the final decision on the question of vulnerability will rest with the
housing authority. In considering whether such applicants are vulnerable, authorities
will need to take account of all relevant factors including:
i)
the nature and extent of the illness and/or disability which may render the
applicant vulnerable;
ii) the relationship between the illness and/or disability and the individual’s housing
difficulties; and
iii) the relationship between the illness and/or disability and other factors such as
drug/alcohol misuse, offending behaviour, challenging behaviours, age and
personality disorder.
10.17. Assessment of vulnerability due to mental health will require close co-operation
between housing authorities, social services authorities and mental health agencies.
Housing authorities should consider carrying out joint assessments or using a trained
mental health practitioner as part of an assessment team. Mental Health NHS Trusts
and local authorities have an express duty to implement a specifically tailored care
programme (the Care Programme Approach – CPA) for all patients considered for
discharge from psychiatric hospitals and all new patients accepted by the specialist
psychiatric services (see Effective care co-ordination in mental health services:
modernising the care programme approach
, DH, 1999). People discharged from
psychiatric hospitals and local authority hostels for people with mental health
problems are likely to be vulnerable. 
Effective, timely, liaison between housing,
social services and NHS Trusts will be essential in such cases but authorities will also
need to be sensitive to direct approaches from former patients who have been
discharged and may be homeless.
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10.18. Learning or physical disabilities or long-term acute illnesses, such as those defined by
the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which impinge on the applicant’s housing
situation and give rise to vulnerability may be readily discernible, but advice from
health or social services staff should be sought, wherever necessary. 
Having been looked after, accommodated or fostered and aged 21
or over

10.19. A person aged 21 or over who is vulnerable as a result of having been looked after,
accommodated or fostered has a priority need (other than a person who is a ‘relevant
student’). The terms ‘looked after, accommodated or fostered’ are set out in the
Children Act 1989 (s.24) and include any person who has been:
i)
looked after by a local authority (i.e. has been subject to a care order or
accommodated under a voluntary agreement);
ii) accommodated by or on behalf of a voluntary organisation;
iii) accommodated in a private children’s home;
iv) accommodated for a consecutive period of at least three months:
– by a health authority, special health authority, primary care trust or local
education authority, or
– in any care home or independent hospital or in any accommodation provided by
a National Health Service trust; or
v) privately fostered.
A ‘relevant student’ means a care leaver under 24 to whom section 24B(3) of the
Children Act 1989 applies, and who is in full-time further or higher education and
whose term-time accommodation is not available during a vacation. Under s.24B(5),
where a social services authority is satisfied that a person is someone to whom section
24B(3) applies and needs accommodation during a vacation they must provide
accommodation or the means to enable it to be secured.
10.20. Housing authorities will need to make enquiries into an applicant’s childhood history
to establish whether he or she has been looked after, accommodated or fostered in any
of these ways. If so, they will need to consider whether he or she is vulnerable as a
result. In determining whether there is vulnerability (as set out in paragraph 10.13
above), factors that a housing authority may wish to consider are:
i)
the length of time that the applicant was looked after, accommodated or fostered;
ii) the reasons why the applicant was looked after, accommodated or fostered;
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iii) the length of time since the applicant was looked after, accommodated or fostered,
and whether the applicant had been able to obtain and/or maintain accommodation
during any of that period;
iv) whether the applicant has any existing support networks, particularly including
family, friends or mentor.
Having been a member of the armed forces
10.21. A person who is vulnerable as a result of having been a member of Her Majesty’s
regular armed forces has a priority need for accommodation. Former members of the
armed forces will include a person who was previously a member of the regular naval,
military or air forces, including a person who has been released following detention in
a military corrective training centre.
10.22. The principal responsibility for providing housing information and advice to Service
personnel lies with the armed forces up to the point of discharge and these services
are delivered through the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (telephone: 01722
436575). Some people, who have served in the armed forces for a long period, and
those who are medically discharged, may be offered assistance with resettlement by
Ministry of Defence (MOD) resettlement staff. The MOD issues a Certificate of
Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Living Accommodation 
(see examples at
Annexes 14 and 15) six months before discharge. Applications from former members
of the armed forces will need to be considered carefully to assess whether the
applicant is vulnerable as a result of having served in the armed forces.
10.23. In considering whether former members of the armed forces are vulnerable (as set out
in paragraph 10.13 above) as a result of their time spent in the forces, a housing
authority may wish to take into account the following factors:
i)
the length of time the applicant spent in the armed forces (although authorities
should not assume that vulnerability could not occur as a result of a short period
of service);
ii) the type of service the applicant was engaged in (those on active service may find
it more difficult to cope with civilian life);
iii) whether the applicant spent any time in a military hospital (this could be an
indicator of a serious health problem or of post-traumatic stress);
iv) whether HM Forces’ medical and welfare advisers have judged an individual to be
particularly vulnerable in their view and have issued a Medical History Release
Form (F Med 133) giving a summary of the circumstances causing that
vulnerability;
v) the length of time since the applicant left the armed forces, and whether he or she
had been able to obtain and/or maintain accommodation during that time;
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vi) whether the applicant has any existing support networks, particularly by way of
family or friends.
Having been in custody or detention
10.24. A person who is vulnerable as a result of having served a custodial sentence, been
committed for contempt of court or remanded in custody has a priority need for
accommodation. This category applies to applicants who are vulnerable as a result of
having:
i)
served a custodial sentence within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts
(Sentences) Act 2000
, s.76. (This includes sentences of imprisonment for those
aged 21 or over and detention for those aged under 21, including children.);
ii) been committed for contempt of court or any other kindred offence (kindred
offence refers to statutory provisions for contempt as opposed to the inherent
jurisdiction of the court, e.g. under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, s.12
(magistrates’ court) and County Court Act 1984, s.118 (county court)). (Committal
may arise, e.g. where an applicant has breached a civil injunction.);
iii) been remanded in custody within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts
(Sentencing) Act 2000, s.88(1)(b), (c) or (d), i.e. remanded in or committed to
custody by an order of a court; remanded or committed to housing authority
accommodation under the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and placed and
kept in secure accommodation; or, remanded, admitted or removed to hospital
under the Mental Health Act 1983, ss. 35, 36, 38 or 48.
10.25. Applicants have a priority need for accommodation only if they are vulnerable (see
paragraph 10.13 above) as a result of having been in custody or detention. In
determining whether applicants who fall within one of the descriptions in paragraph
10.24 are vulnerable as a result of their period in custody or detention, a housing
authority may wish to take into account the following factors:
i)
the length of time the applicant served in custody or detention (although
authorities should not assume that vulnerability could not occur as a result of a
short period in custody or detention);
ii) whether the applicant is receiving supervision from a criminal justice agency e.g.
the Probation Service, Youth Offending Team or Drug Intervention Programme.
Housing authorities should have regard to any advice from criminal justice
agency staff regarding their view of the applicant’s general vulnerability, but the
final decision on the question of vulnerability for the purposes of the
homelessness legislation will rest with the housing authority;
iii) the length of time since the applicant was released from custody or detention, and
the extent to which the applicant had been able to obtain and/or maintain
accommodation during that time;
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iv) whether the applicant has any existing support networks, for example family or
friends, and how much of a positive influence these networks are likely to be in
the applicant’s life.
10.26. In many cases a housing needs assessment may have been completed in respect of
offenders by the Probation Service, Prison Services, Youth Offending Team, Criminal
Justice Intervention Team or a voluntary organisation acting on behalf of one of these
agencies. Where such an assessment identifies an individual as needing help in
finding accommodation and judges the individual to be particularly vulnerable and the
applicant makes an application for housing assistance, this information will be made
available to the relevant housing authority.
10.27. In addition to the question of priority need, when assessing applicants in this client
group difficult issues may arise as to whether the applicant has become homeless
intentionally. Housing authorities must consider each case in the light of all the facts
and circumstances. Housing authorities are reminded that they cannot adopt a
blanket policy of assuming that homelessness will be intentional or unintentional
in any given circumstances 
(see Chapter 11 for guidance on intentional
homelessness).
Having left accommodation because of violence
10.28. A person has a priority need if he or she is vulnerable (as set out in paragraph 10.13
above) as a result of having to leave accommodation because of violence from another
person, or threats of violence from another person that are likely to be carried out. It
will usually be apparent from the assessment of the reason for homelessness whether
the applicant has had to leave accommodation because of violence or threats of
violence (see Chapter 8 for further guidance on whether it is reasonable to continue to
occupy accommodation). In cases involving violence, the safety of the applicant
and ensuring confidentiality must be of paramount concern. 
It is not only
domestic violence that is relevant, but all forms of violence, including racially
motivated violence or threats of violence likely to be carried out. Inquiries of the
perpetrators of violence should not be made. In assessing whether it is likely that
threats of violence are likely to be carried out, a housing authority should only take
into account the probability of violence, and not actions which the applicant could
take (such as injunctions against the perpetrators). See Chapter 6 for further guidance
on dealing with cases involving violence.
10.29. In considering whether applicants are vulnerable as a result of leaving accommodation
because of violence or threats of violence likely to be carried out, a housing authority
may wish to take into account the following factors:
i)
the nature of the violence or threats of violence (there may have been a single but
significant incident or a number of incidents over an extended period of time
which have had a cumulative effect);
ii) the impact and likely effects of the violence or threats of violence on the
applicant’s current and future well being;
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iii) whether the applicant has any existing support networks, particularly by way of
family or friends.
Other special reason
10.30. Section 189(1)(c) provides that a person has a priority need for accommodation if he
or she is vulnerable for any “other special reason”. A person with whom such a
vulnerable person normally lives or might reasonably be expected to live also has a
priority need. The legislation envisages that vulnerability can arise because of factors
that are not expressly provided for in statute. Each application must be considered in
the light of the facts and circumstances of the case. Moreover, other special reasons
giving rise to vulnerability are not restricted to the physical or mental characteristics
of a person. Where applicants have a need for support but have no family or friends on
whom they can depend they may be vulnerable as a result of another special reason.
10.31. Housing authorities must keep an open mind and should avoid blanket policies
that assume that particular groups of applicants will, or will not, be vulnerable
for any “other special reason”. 
Where a housing authority considers that an
applicant may be vulnerable, it will be important to make an in-depth assessment of
the circumstances of the case. Guidance on certain categories of applicants who may
be vulnerable as a result of any “other special reason” is given below. The list below is
not exhaustive and housing authorities must ensure that they give proper consideration
to every application on the basis of the individual circumstances. In addition, housing
authorities will need to be aware that an applicant may be considered vulnerable for
any “other special reason” because of a combination of factors which taken alone may
not necessarily lead to a decision that they are vulnerable (e.g. drug and alcohol
problems, common mental health problems, a history of sleeping rough, no previous
experience of managing a tenancy).
10.32. Chronically sick people, including people with AIDS and HIV-related illnesses. People
in this group may be vulnerable not only because their illness has progressed to the
point of physical or mental disability (when they are likely to fall within one of the
specified categories of priority need) but also because the manifestations or effects of
their illness, or common attitudes to it, make it very difficult for them to find and
maintain stable or suitable accommodation. Whilst this may be particularly true of
people with AIDS, it could also apply in the case of people infected with HIV (who
may not have any overt signs or symptoms) if the nature of their infection is known.
10.33. Young peopleThe 2002 Order makes specific provision for certain categories of
young homeless people (see paragraph 10.2). However, there are many other young
people who fall outside these categories but who could become homeless and be
vulnerable in certain circumstances. When assessing applications from young people
under 25 who do not fall within any of the specific categories of priority need,
housing authorities should give careful consideration to the possibility of vulnerability.
Most young people can expect a degree of support from families, friends or an
institution (e.g. a college or university) with the practicalities and costs of finding,
establishing, and managing a home for the first time. But some young people,
particularly those who are forced to leave the parental home or who cannot remain
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there because they are being subjected to violence or sexual abuse, may lack this
back-up network and be less able than others to establish and maintain a home for
themselves. Moreover, a young person on the streets without adequate financial
resources to live independently may be at risk of abuse or prostitution. See Chapter 12
for further guidance on 16 and 17 year olds.
10.34. People fleeing harassment. Authorities should consider whether harassment falls
under the general definition of domestic violence (see definition in Chapter 8 and
paragraphs 10.28-10.29 above which give guidance on vulnerability as a result of
violence). In some cases, however, severe harassment may fall short of actual violence
or threats of violence likely to be carried out. Housing authorities should consider
carefully whether applicants who have fled their home because of non-violent forms
of harassment, for example verbal abuse or damage to property, are vulnerable as a
result. Careful consideration should be given to applicants who may be at risk of
witness intimidation. In some criminal cases the police may provide alternative
accommodation for witnesses, but usually this will apply for the duration of the trial
only. Witnesses may have had to give up their home or may feel unable to return to it
when the trial has finished.
10.35. Former asylum seekersFormer asylum seekers who have been granted refugee status
or exceptional leave to remain, humanitarian protection, or discretionary leave will be
eligible for homelessness assistance and may be at risk of homelessness as a result of
having to leave accommodation that had been provided for them (e.g. by the National
Asylum Support Service) in the period before a decision was reached on their asylum
claim. They may well have experienced persecution or trauma in their country of
origin or severe hardship in their efforts to reach the UK and may be vulnerable as a
result. In assessing applications from this client group, housing authorities should give
careful consideration to the possibility that they may be vulnerable as a result of
another special reason. Authorities should be sensitive to the fact that former asylum
seekers may be reluctant to discuss, or have difficulty discussing, their potential
vulnerability, if, for example, they have experienced humiliating, painful or traumatic
circumstances such as torture, rape or the killing of a family member.
16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS
10.36. All 16 and 17 year old homeless applicants have a priority need for accommodation
except those who are:
i) a relevant child, or
ii) a child in need who is owed a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989.
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Relevant child or child in need owed a duty under s.20 of the 1989 Act
10.37. A relevant child is a child aged 16 or 17 who has been looked after by a local
authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and has been looked after at some
time while 16 or 17 and who is not currently being looked after (i.e. an ‘eligible child’
for the purposes of paragraph 19B of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989). In
addition, a child is also a relevant child if he or she would have been looked after by
the local authority as an eligible child but for the fact that on his or her 16th birthday
he or she was detained through the criminal justice system, or in hospital, or if he or
she has returned home on family placement and that has broken down (see the
Children Act 1989, s.23A and the Children (Leaving Care) Regulations 2001
regulation 4).
10.38. The Children Act 1989 (s.20(3)) places a duty on children’s services authorities to
provide accommodation for a child in need aged 16 or over whose welfare is
otherwise likely to be seriously prejudiced if they do not provide accommodation; and
s.20(1) places a duty on children’s services authorities to provide accommodation for
children in need in certain other circumstances.
10.39. Responsibility for providing suitable accommodation for a relevant child or a child in
need to whom a local authority owes a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989 rests
with the children’s services authority. In cases where a housing authority considers
that a section 20 duty is owed, they should verify this with the relevant children’s
services authority. In all cases of uncertainty as to whether a 16 or 17 year old
applicant may be a relevant child or a child in need, the housing authority should
contact the relevant children’s services authority and, where necessary, should provide
interim accommodation under s.188, pending clarification. A framework for joint
assessment of 16 and 17 year olds will need to be established by housing and
children’s services authorities (and housing and children’s services departments within
unitary authorities) to facilitate the seamless discharge of duties and appropriate
services to this client group.
See Chapter 12 for more detailed guidance on 16 and 17 year olds.
HAVING BEEN LOOKED AFTER, ACCOMMODATED OR
FOSTERED AND AGED UNDER 21

10.40. A person under 21 who was (but is no longer) looked after, accommodated or fostered
between the ages of 16 and 18 has a priority need for accommodation (other than a
person who is a ‘relevant student’). The terms ‘looked after’, ‘accommodated’ or
‘fostered’ are set out in the Children Act 1989 (s.24) and include any person who has
been:
i)
looked after by a local authority (i.e. has been subject to a care order or
accommodated under a voluntary agreement);
ii) accommodated by or on behalf of a voluntary organisation;
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iii) accommodated in a private children’s home;
iv) accommodated for a consecutive period of at least three months:
– by a health authority, special health authority, primary care trust or local
education authority, or
– in any care home or independent hospital or in any accommodation provided by
a National Health Service trust; or
v) privately fostered.
A ‘relevant student’ means a care leaver under 24 to whom section 24B(3) of the
Children Act 1989 applies, and who is in full-time further or higher education and
whose term-time accommodation is not available during a vacation. Under s.24B(5),
where a social services authority is satisfied that a person is someone to whom
s.24B(3) applies and needs accommodation during a vacation they must provide
accommodation or the means to enable it to be secured.
10.41. Housing authorities will need to liaise with the social services authority when dealing
with homeless applicants who may fall within this category of priority need.
HOMELESS AS A RESULT OF AN EMERGENCY
10.42. Applicants have a priority need for accommodation if they are homeless or threatened
with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as fire, flood or other disaster. To
qualify as an “other disaster” the disaster must be in the nature of a flood or fire, and
involve some form of physical damage or threat of damage. Applicants have a priority
need by reason of such an emergency whether or not they have dependent children or
are vulnerable for any reason.
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CHAPTER 11: INTENTIONAL HOMELESSNESS
11.1. This chapter provides guidance on determining whether an applicant became
homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally or unintentionally.
11.2. The duty owed towards those who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, and
who have a priority need for accommodation will depend upon whether they became
homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally or unintentionally. Section
191 defines the circumstances in which an applicant is to be regarded as having
become homeless intentionally. Section 196 frames the same definitions in regard to
someone who is threatened with homelessness.
11.3. The duty owed to applicants who have a priority need for accommodation but have
become homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally is less than the duty
owed to those who have a priority need for accommodation and have become
homeless, or threatened with homelessness, unintentionally. This recognises the
general expectation that, wherever possible, people should take responsibility for their
own accommodation needs and ensure that they do not behave in a way which might
lead to the loss of their accommodation.
11.4. Where a housing authority finds an applicant to be homeless, or threatened with
homelessness, intentionally they have a duty to provide the applicant (or secure that
the applicant is provided) with advice and assistance in any attempts he or she may
make to secure that accommodation becomes available (or does not cease to be
available) for his or her occupation. Before this advice and assistance is given, the
authority must assess the applicant’s housing needs. The advice and assistance must
include information about the likely availability in the authority’s district of types of
accommodation appropriate to the applicant’s housing needs (including, in particular,
the location and sources of such types of accommodation). Authorities should
consider what best advice and assistance the authoritiy could provide, for example,
providing information about applying for social housing, local lettings in the private
rented sector, rent deposit schemes or housing benefit eligibility – to help the
applicant avoid homelessness or secure accommodation (see Chapter 2 for further
guidance on preventing homelessness). Where such an applicant also has a priority need
for accommodation the authority will also have a duty to secure accommodation for such
period as will give the applicant a reasonable opportunity of securing accommodation for
his or her occupation. See Chapter 14 for guidance on the main duties owed to applicants
on completion of inquiries.
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11.5. It is for housing authorities to satisfy themselves in each individual case whether an
applicant is homeless or threatened with homelessness intentionally. Generally, it is
not for applicants to “prove their case”. The exception is where an applicant seeks to
establish that, as a member of a household previously found to be homeless
intentionally, he or she did not acquiesce in the behaviour that led to homelessness. In
such cases, the applicant will need to demonstrate that he or she was not involved in
the acts or omissions that led to homelessness, and did not have control over them.
11.6. Housing authorities must not adopt general policies which seek to pre-define
circumstances that do or do not amount to intentional homelessness or
threatened homelessness (for example, intentional homelessness should not be
assumed in cases where an application is made following a period in custody – see
paragraph 11.14)
. In each case, housing authorities must form a view in the light of
all their inquiries about that particular case. Where the original incident of
homelessness occurred some years earlier and the facts are unclear, it may not be
possible for the housing authority to satisfy themselves that the applicant became
homeless intentionally. In such cases, the applicant should be considered to be
unintentionally homeless.
DEFINITIONS OF INTENTIONAL HOMELESSNESS
11.7. Sections 191(1) and 196(1) provide that a person becomes homeless, or threatened
with homelessness, intentionally if:
i)
he or she deliberately does or fails to do anything in consequence of which he or
she ceases to occupy accommodation (or the likely result of which is that he or
she will be forced to leave accommodation),
ii) the accommodation is available for his or her occupation, and
iii) it would have been reasonable for him or her to continue to occupy the
accommodation.
However, for this purpose, an act or omission made in good faith by someone who
was unaware of any relevant fact must not be treated as deliberate (see paragraph
11.20).
11.8. Sections 191(3) and 196(3) provide that a person must be treated as homeless, or
threatened with homelessness, intentionally if:
i)
the person enters into an arrangement under which he or she is required to cease
to occupy accommodation which it would have been reasonable for the person to
continue to occupy,
ii) the purpose of the arrangement is to enable the person to become entitled to
assistance under Part 7, and
iii) there is no other good reason why the person is homeless or threatened with
homelessness.
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WHOSE CONDUCT RESULTS IN INTENTIONAL HOMELESSNESS?
11.9. Every applicant is entitled to individual consideration of his or her application. This
includes applicants where another member of their family or household has made, or
is making, a separate application. It is the applicant who must deliberately have done
or failed to do something which resulted in homelessness or threatened homelessness.
Where a housing authority has found an applicant to be homeless intentionally,
nothing in the 1996 Act prevents another member of his or her household from
making a separate application. Situations may arise where one or more members of a
household found to be intentionally homeless were not responsible for the actions or
omissions that led to the homelessness. For example, a person may have deliberately
failed to pay the rent or defaulted on the mortgage payments, which resulted in
homelessness or threatened homelessness, against the wishes or without the
knowledge of his or her partner. However, where applicants were not directly
responsible for the act or omission which led to their family or household becoming
homeless, but they acquiesced in that behaviour, then they may be treated as having
become homeless intentionally themselves. In considering whether an applicant has
acquiesced in certain behaviour, the Secretary of State recommends that the housing
authority take into account whether the applicant could reasonably be expected to have
taken that position through a fear of actual or probable violence.
CESSATION OF OCCUPATION 
11.10. For intentional homelessness to be established there must have been actual occupation
of accommodation which has ceased. However, occupation need not necessarily
involve continuous occupation at all times, provided the accommodation was at the
disposal of the applicant and available for his or her occupation. The accommodation
which has been lost can be outside the UK.
CONSEQUENCE OF A DELIBERATE ACT OR OMISSION
11.11. For homelessness, or threatened homelessness, to be intentional it must be a
consequence of a deliberate act or omission. Having established that there was a
deliberate act or omission, the housing authority will need to decide whether the loss
of the applicant’s home, or the likelihood of its loss, is the reasonable result of that act
or omission. This is a matter of cause and effect. An example would be where a person
voluntarily gave up settled accommodation that it would have been reasonable for
them to continue to occupy, moved into alternative accommodation of a temporary or
unsettled nature and subsequently became homeless when required to leave the
alternative accommodation. Housing authorities will, therefore, need to look back to
the last period of settled accommodation and the reasons why the applicant left that
accommodation, to determine whether the current incidence of homelessness is the
result of a deliberate act or omission.
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11.12. Where a person becomes homeless intentionally, that condition may persist until the
link between the causal act or omission and the intentional homelessness has been
broken. It could be broken, for example, by a period in settled accommodation which
follows the intentional homelessness. Whether accommodation is settled will depend
on the circumstances of the particular case. Factors such as security of tenure and
length of residence will be relevant. It has been established that a period in settled
accommodation after an incidence of intentional homelessness would make the
deliberate act or omission which led to that homelessness irrelevant in the event of a
subsequent application for housing assistance. Conversely, occupation of
accommodation that was merely temporary rather than settled, for example, staying
with friends on an insecure basis, may not be sufficient to break the link with the
earlier intentional homelessness. However, a period in settled accommodation is not
necessarily the only way in which a link with the earlier intentional homelessness may
be broken: some other event, such as the break-up of a marriage, may be sufficient.
Probability of violence
11.13. In cases where there is a probability of violence against an applicant if they continue,
or had continued, to occupy their accommodation, and the applicant was aware of
measures that could have been taken to prevent or mitigate the risk of violence but
decided not to take them, their decision cannot be taken as having caused the
probability of violence, and thus, indirectly, having caused the homelessness.
Authorities must not assume that measures which could have been taken to prevent
actual or threatened violence would necessarily have been effective.
Ex-offenders
11.14. Some ex-offenders may apply for accommodation or assistance in obtaining
accommodation following a period in custody or detention because they have been
unable to retain their previous accommodation, due to that period in custody or
detention. In considering whether such an applicant is homeless intentionally, the
housing authority will have to decide whether, taking into account all the
circumstances, there was a likelihood that ceasing to occupy the accommodation could
reasonably have been regarded at the time as a likely consequence of committing
the offence. 
Former members of the armed forces
11.15. Where service personnel are required to vacate service quarters as a result of taking
up an option to give notice to leave the service, and in so doing are acting in
compliance with their contractural engagement, the Secretary of State considers that
they should not be considered to have become homeless intentionally.
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DELIBERATE ACT OR OMISSION 
11.16. For homelessness to be intentional, the act or omission that led to homelessness must
have been deliberate, and applicants must always be given the opportunity to explain
such behaviour. An act or omission should not generally be treated as deliberate, even
where deliberately carried out, if it is forced upon the applicant through no fault of
their own. Moreover, an act or omission made in good faith where someone is
genuinely ignorant of a relevant fact must not be treated as deliberate (see paragraph
11.24).
11.17. Generally, an act or omission should not be considered deliberate where:
i)
the act or omission was non-payment of rent which was the result of housing
benefit delays, or financial difficulties which were beyond the applicant’s control;
ii) the housing authority has reason to believe the applicant is incapable of managing
his or her affairs, for example, by reason of age, mental illness or disability;
iii) the act or omission was the result of limited mental capacity; or a temporary
aberration or aberrations caused by mental illness, frailty, or an assessed substance
abuse problem;
iv) the act or omission was made when the applicant was under duress;
v) imprudence or lack of foresight on the part of an applicant led to homelessness
but the act or omission was in good faith.
11.18. An applicant’s actions would not amount to intentional homelessness where he or she
has lost his or her home, or was obliged to sell it, because of rent or mortgage arrears
resulting from significant financial difficulties, and the applicant was genuinely
unable to keep up the rent or mortgage payments even after claiming benefits, and no
further financial help was available.
11.19. Where an applicant has lost a former home due to rent arrears, the reasons why the
arrears accrued should be fully explored. Similarly, in cases which involve
mortgagors, housing authorities will need to look at the reasons for mortgage arrears
together with the applicant’s ability to pay the mortgage commitment when it was
taken on, given the applicant’s financial circumstances at the time.
11.20. Examples of acts or omissions which may be regarded as deliberate (unless any of the
circumstances set out in paragraph 11.17 apply) include the following, where
someone:
i)
chooses to sell his or her home in circumstances where he or she is under no risk
of losing it;
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ii) has lost his or her home because of wilful and persistent refusal to pay rent or
mortgage payments;
iii) could be said to have significantly neglected his or her affairs having disregarded
sound advice from qualified persons;
iv) voluntarily surrenders adequate accommodation in this country or abroad which it
would have been reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy;
v) is evicted because of his or her anti-social behaviour, for example by nuisance to
neighbours, harassment etc.;
vi) is evicted because of violence or threats of violence by them towards another
person;
vii) leaves a job with tied accommodation and the circumstances indicate that it would
have been reasonable for him or her to continue in the employment and reasonable
to continue to occupy the accommodation (but note paragraph 11.15).
AVAILABILE FOR OCCUPATION
11.21. For homelessness to be intentional the accommodation must have been available for
the applicant and anyone reasonably expected to live with him or her. Further
guidance on “availability for occupation” is provided in Chapter 8.
REASONABLE TO CONTINUE TO OCCUPY THE
ACCOMMODATION

11.22. An applicant cannot be treated as intentionally homeless unless it would have been
reasonable for him or her to have continued to occupy the accommodation. Guidance
on “reasonable to continue to occupy” is provided in Chapter 8. It will be necessary
for the housing authority to give careful consideration to the circumstances of the
applicant and the household, in each case, and with particular care in cases where
violence has been alleged.
11.23. Authorities are reminded that, where the applicant has fled his or her home because of
violence or threats of violence likely to be carried out, and has failed to pursue legal
remedies against the perpetrator(s) which might have prevented the violence or threat
of violence, although these decisions (to leave the home and not pursue legal
remedies) may be deliberate, the homelessness would not be intentional if it would not
have been reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the home.
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ACTS OR OMISSIONS IN GOOD FAITH
11.24. Acts or omissions made in good faith where someone was genuinely unaware of a
relevant fact must not be regarded as deliberate. Provided that the applicant has acted
in good faith, there is no requirement that ignorance of the relevant fact be reasonable.
11.25. A general example of an act made in good faith would be a situation where someone
gave up possession of accommodation in the belief that they had no legal right to
continue to occupy the accommodation and, therefore, it would not be reasonable for
them to continue to occupy it. This could apply where someone leaves rented
accommodation in the private sector having received a valid notice to quit or notice
that the assured shorthold tenancy has come to an end and the landlord requires
possession of the property, and the former tenant was genuinely unaware that he or
she had a right to remain until the court granted an order and warrant for possession.
11.26. Where there was dishonesty there could be no question of an act or omission having
been made in good faith.
11.27. Other examples of acts or omissions that could be made in good faith might include
situations where:
i)
a person gets into rent arrears, being unaware that he or she may be entitled to
housing benefit or other social security benefits;
ii) an owner-occupier faced with foreclosure or possession proceedings to which
there is no defence, sells before the mortgagee recovers possession through the
courts or surrenders the property to the lender; or
iii) a tenant, faced with possession proceedings to which there would be no defence,
and where the granting of a possession order would be mandatory, surrenders the
property to the landlord.
In (iii) although the housing authority may consider that it would have been
reasonable for the tenant to continue to occupy the accommodation, the act should not
be regarded as deliberate if the tenant made the decision to leave the accommodation
in ignorance of material facts, e.g. the general pressure on the authority for housing
assistance.
APPLICANT ENTERS INTO AN ARRANGEMENT
11.28. Housing authorities will need to be alert to the possibility of collusion by which a
person may claim that he or she is obliged to leave accommodation in order to take
advantage of the homelessness legislation. Some parents and children, for example,
may seek to take advantage of the fact that 16 and 17 year old applicants have a
priority need for accommodation. Collusion is not confined to those staying with
friends or relatives but can also occur between landlords and tenants. Housing
authorities, while relying on experience, nonetheless need to be satisfied that collusion
exists, and must not rely on hearsay or unfounded suspicions. For collusion to amount
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to intentional homelessness, s.191(3) specifies that there should be no other good
reason for the applicant’s homelessness. Examples of other good reasons include
overcrowding or an obvious breakdown in relations between the applicant and his or
her host or landlord. In some cases involving collusion the applicant may not actually
be homeless, if there is no genuine need for the applicant to leave the accommodation.
See paragraphs 8.9-8.12 for further guidance on applicants asked to leave by family 
or friends.
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18
11.29. It is important that social services are alerted as quickly as possible to cases where the
applicant has children under 18 and the housing authority considers the applicant may
be homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally. Section 213A(2)
therefore requires housing authorities to have arrangements in place to ensure that all
such applicants are invited to agree to the housing authority notifying the social
services authority of the essential facts of their case. The arrangements must also
provide that, where consent is given, the social services authority are made aware of
the essential facts and, in due course, of the subsequent decision on the homelessness
case. See Chapter 13 for further guidance on section 213A.
FURTHER APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE
11.30. There is no period of disqualification if someone wants to make a fresh application
after being found intentionally homeless. Where a person whose application has just
been decided makes a fresh application, the authority will need to decide whether
there are any new facts in the fresh application which render it different from the
earlier application. If no new facts are revealed, or any new facts are of a trivial
nature, the authority would not be required to consider the new application. However,
where the fresh application does reveal substantive new facts, the authority must treat
the fresh application in the same way as it would any other application for
accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation. Therefore, if the authority
have reason to believe that the person is homeless or threatened with homelessness,
the authority must make inquiries under s.184 and decide whether any interim duty is
owed under s.188(1). See Chapter 6 for guidance on inquiries and Chapter 7 for
guidance on the interim duty.
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CHAPTER 12: 16 & 17 YEAR OLDS
12.1. This chapter provides guidance on specific duties towards 16 and 17 year 
old applicants.
Priority need
12.2. All 16 and 17 year old homeless applicants have a priority need for accommodation
except those who are:
i)
a relevant child, or
ii) a child in need who is owed a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989.
See Chapter 10 for more detailed guidance on priority need.
Relevant child or child in need owed a duty under s.20 of the 1989 Act
12.3. A relevant child is a child aged 16 or 17 who has been looked after by a local
authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and has been looked after at some
time while 16 or 17 and who is not currently being looked after (i.e. an ‘eligible child’
for the purposes of paragraph 19B of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989). In
addition, a child is also a relevant child if he or she would have been looked after by
the local authority as an eligible child but for the fact that on his or her 16th birthday
he or she was detained through the criminal justice system, or in hospital, or if he or
she has returned home on family placement and that has broken down (see the
Children Act 1989, s.23A and the Children (Leaving Care) Regulations 2001,
Regulation 4).
12.4. The Children Act 1989 (s.20(3)) places a duty on children’s services authorities to
provide accommodation for a child in need aged 16 or over whose welfare is
otherwise likely to be seriously prejudiced if they do not provide accommodation; and
s.20(1) places a duty on children’s services authorities to provide accommodation for
children in need in certain other circumstances.
12.5. Responsibility for providing suitable accommodation for a relevant child or a child in
need to whom a local authority owes a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989 rests
with the children’s services authority. In cases where a housing authority considers
that a s.20 duty is owed, they should verify this with the relevant children’s services
authority.
12.6. In all cases of uncertainty as to whether a 16 or 17 year old applicant may be a
relevant child or a child in need, the housing authority should contact the relevant
children’s services authority and, where necessary, should provide interim
accommodation under s.188, pending clarification. A framework for joint assessment
of 16 and 17 year olds will need to be established by housing and children’s services
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authorities (and housing and children’s services departments within unitary
authorities) to facilitate the seamless discharge of duties and appropriate services to
this client group.
Family relationships
12.7. The Secretary of State considers that, generally, it will be in the best interests of 16
and 17 year olds to live in the family home, unless it would be unsafe or unsuitable for
them to do so because they would be at risk of violence or abuse. It is not unusual for
16 and 17 year olds to have a turbulent relationship with their family and this can lead
to temporary disagreements and even temporary estrangement. Where such
disagreements look likely to lead to actual or threatened homelessness the housing
authority should consider the possibility of reconciliation with the applicant’s
immediate family, where appropriate, or the possibility of him or her residing with
another member of the wider family.
Reconciliation
12.8. In all cases involving applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age a careful assessment of
the young person’s circumstances and any risk to them of remaining at home should
be made at the first response. Some 16 and 17 year olds may be at risk of leaving
home because of a temporary breakdown in their relationship with their family. In
such cases, the housing authority may be able to effect a reconciliation with the
family. In some cases, however, relationships may have broken down irretrievably, and
in others it may not be safe or desirable for the applicant to remain in the family
home, for example, in cases involving violence or abuse.
12.9. Therefore, any mediation or reconciliation will need careful brokering and housing
authorities may wish to seek the assistance of social services in all such cases.
Collusion
12.10. Where homelessness can not be avoided, local authorities should work with 16 and 17
year olds, and their families where appropriate, to explore alternative housing options.
Where the main homelessness duty is owed young people need to be given the chance
to consider a range of housing options including but not limited to any
accommodation to be offered under s.193. Clear and accurate information is essential
to allow young people to identify the right housing solution for them.
12.11. Some parents and children may seek to take advantage of the fact that 16 and 17 year
old applicants have a priority need for accommodation. Housing authorities will
therefore need to be alive to the possibility of collusion when assessing applications
from this client group. Section 191(3) (intentional homelessness) will apply in cases
where there is no genuine basis for homelessness and parents have colluded with a
child and fabricated an arrangement under which the child has been asked to leave the
family home (see Chapter 11 for guidance on intentional homelessness).
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Care and support needs
12.12. Where young people actually become homeless and are provided with
accommodation, local authorities should consider whether they have any care or
support needs. Many young people who have experienced homelessness may lack
skills in managing their affairs and require help with managing a tenancy and
operating a household budget. Those estranged from their family, particularly care
leavers, may lack the advice and support normally available to young people from
family, friends and other mentors. 16 and 17 year olds who are homeless and
estranged from their family will be particularly vulnerable and in need of support.
12.13. Housing authorities will need to recognise that accommodation solutions for this
client group are likely to be unsuccessful if the necessary support is not provided.
Close liaison with social services, the Supporting People team and agencies working
with young people will be essential. Most 16 and 17 year old applicants are likely to
benefit from a period in supported accommodation before moving on to a tenancy of
their own, but housing authorities should consider the circumstances of each case.
12.14. Housing authorities are reminded that Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodation
is unlikely to be suitable for 16 and 17 year olds who are in need of support.
Where B&B accommodation is used for this group it ought to be as a last resort
for the shortest time possible and housing authorities will need to ensure that
appropriate support is provided where necessary. 
See Chapter 17 on the suitability
of accommodation for further guidance on the use of B&B accommodation.
12.15. 16 and 17 year olds (including lone parents) who apply for housing assistance may
also have care and support needs that need to be assessed. The Secretary of State
recommends that housing authorities and social services authorities (and the
relevant departments within unitary authorities) have arrangements in place for
joint assessments of such young people’s needs, whether the application is made
initially to the housing department or social services department. 
In all cases
where an applicant may have care, health or other support needs, it is recommended
that the housing authority liaise with the social services authority, the Supporting
People team and other agencies (for example, the Primary Care Trust, Criminal Justice
Services, and voluntary and community organisations), as appropriate, as part of their
inquiries. A joint consideration of an applicant’s housing and support needs may be
crucial to assist the authority in establishing whether the applicant has a priority need
for accommodation and any non-housing support needs (see Chapter 4 for guidance
on securing support services and Chapter 5 for guidance on joint working).
Lone teenage parents under 18
12.16. The provision of suitable accommodation with support for lone parents under 18 is a
key part of the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. Providing accommodation
with support for 16 and 17 year old lone parents is important for a very vulnerable
group at risk of social isolation. It increases the likelihood of them making a
successful transition to an independent tenancy and reduces the risk of subsequent
homelessness.
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12.17. The Government’s objective is that all 16 and 17 year old lone parents who cannot live
with their parents or partner should be offered accommodation with support. Housing
authorities should work with social services, RSLs, the local teenage pregnancy
co-ordinator and relevant voluntary organisations in their district to ensure that the
Government’s objective is met. The allocation of appropriate housing and support
should be based on consideration of the young person’s housing and support needs,
their individual circumstances and their views and preferences. Young parents under
the age of 16 must always be referred to social services so that their social care needs
may be assessed. Housing authorities may find it helpful to refer to Guidelines for
Good Practice in Supported Accommodation for Young Parents
, separate guidance
published jointly by DTLR and the Teenage Pregnancy Unit in September 2001
(available from www.teenagepregnancyunit.gov.uk).
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CHAPTER 13: CO-OPERATION IN CERTAIN CASES
INVOLVING CHILDREN
13.1. This chapter provides guidance on the duty housing authorities and social
services authorities have to co-operate in certain cases involving children.
13.2. Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 establishes a duty on county level and unitary
authorities1 to make arrangements to promote co-operation between the authority,
relevant partners (including district authorities) and other persons or bodies engaged
in activities in relation to children, to improve the well-being of children and young
people in the authority’s area. Relevant partners are required to co-operate with the
authority. Section 11 of the 2004 Act requires a range of agencies – including county
level and unitary authorities and district authorities where there are two tiers of local
government – to make arrangements for ensuring that their functions are discharged
having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. See
Chapter 5 for guidance on joint working.
13.3. Where an applicant is eligible for assistance and unintentionally homeless, and has a
priority need because there is one or more dependent child in his or her household, the
housing authority will owe a main homelessness duty to secure that accommodation is
available to them. However, not all applicants with dependent children will be owed a
main homelessness duty. Applicants who are found to be ineligible for assistance are
not entitled to homelessness assistance under Part 7 of the 1996 Act. Where an
applicant with a priority need is found to be eligible but homeless intentionally,
s.190(2) requires the housing authority to secure accommodation for such period as
will give the applicant a reasonable opportunity to secure accommodation for
him/herself and to ensure that the applicant is provided with advice and assistance in
any attempts he or she may make to secure accommodation for his or her occupation.
Where an applicant with a priority need is found to be eligible but threatened with
homelessness intentionally, s.195(5) requires the housing authority to ensure that the
applicant is provided with advice and assistance in any attempts he or she may make
to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for his or her occupation.
See Chapter 14 for guidance on the main duties owed to applicants on completion of
inquiries, including the duty to provide advice and assistance.
13.4. In each of the above cases, there is a possibility that situations could arise where
families may find themselves without accommodation and any prospect of further
assistance from the housing authority. This could give rise to a situation in which the
children of such families might become children in need, within the meaning of the
term as set out in s.17 of the Children Act 1989.
1
Section 65 of the Children Act 2004 uses the term ‘children’s services authority’ to define these authorities as: a
county council in England; a metropolitan district council; a non-metropolitan district council for an area where
there is no county council; a London borough council; the Common Council of the City of London and the Council
of the Isles of Scilly.
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13.5. In such cases, it is important that local authority children’s services are alerted as
quickly as possible because the family may wish to seek assistance under Part 3 of the
Children Act 1989, in circumstances in which they are owed no, or only limited,
assistance under the homelessness legislation. This will give local authority children’s
services the opportunity to consider the circumstances of the child(ren) and family,
and plan any response that may be deemed by them to be appropriate.
13.6. Section 213A of the 1996 Act applies where a housing authority has reason to believe
that an applicant for assistance under Part 7 with whom a person under the age of 18
normally resides, or might reasonably be expected to reside:
a) may be ineligible for assistance;
b) may be homeless and may have become so intentionally; or
c) may be threatened with homelessness intentionally.
In these circumstances, a housing authority is required to have arrangements in place
to ensure that the applicant is invited to consent to the referral of the essential facts of
his or her case to the social services authority2 for the district (or, in the case of a
unitary authority, the social services department of the authority). The arrangements
must also provide that, where consent is given, the social services authority or
department is made aware of the essential facts and, in due course, of the subsequent
decision in relation to the homelessness case.
13.7. The requirement to obtain the applicant’s consent to the referral of the essential facts
of his or her case under section 213A(2) or (3) does not affect any other power for the
housing authority to disclose information about a homelessness case to the social
services authority or department. For example, even where consent is withheld, the
housing authority should disclose information about a homelessness case to the social
services authority, if they have reason to believe that a child is, or may be, at risk of
significant harm, as laid out in Chapter 5 of Working Together to Safeguard Children:
A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
(2006). Working Together was recently revised to reflect developments in legislation,
policy and practice. It was published in April 2006 and can be found on the Every
Child Matters 
website at http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/socialcare/safeguarding/
workingtogether/
13.8. Where a family with one or more children has been found ineligible for assistance
under Part 7 or homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally and
approaches the social services authority, that authority will need to decide whether the
child is a ‘child in need’ under the terms of the Children Act 1989, by carrying out an
assessment of their needs in accordance with the Framework for the Assessment of
Children in Need and their Families 
(2000), Department of Health. The findings of
the assessment should provide the basis for the decision as to whether the child is a
2
“Social services authority” is the term used in S.213A of the Housing Act 1996, and defined in S.217 of the
Housing Act 1996. Such authorities are often now referred to as “children’s services authorities”. See footnote 1.
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‘child in need’ and what, if any, services should be offered to the child in order to
safeguard and promote his/her welfare. Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 requires a
local authority to promote the upbringing of children within their family, in so far as
this is consistent with their general duty to safeguard and promote their welfare. The
social services authority might wish to consider, for example, whether the best way of
meeting the child’s needs would be by assisting the family to obtain accommodation,
for example by providing temporary accommodation or a rent deposit, as part of the
exercise of its duty set out in s.17 of the Children Act 1989. Local Authority Circular
2003(13): Guidance on accommodating children in need and their families 
provides
further guidance to social services authorities on the effect of s.17.
13.9. Where a social services authority has been made aware of a family found to be
ineligible for assistance or homeless, or threatened with homelessness, intentionally by
the housing authority, and they consider the needs of a child or children could best be
met by helping the family to obtain accommodation, they can request the housing
authority to provide them with such advice and assistance as is reasonable in the
circumstances. Under s.213A(5), the housing authority must comply with such a
request. Advice and assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances might include, for
example, help with locating suitable accommodation and making an inspection of the
property to ensure that it meets adequate standards of fitness and safety. However, the
housing authority is not under a duty to provide accommodation for the family in
these circumstances.
13.10. Section 213A(6) requires unitary authorities to have similar arrangements in place so
that the housing department provide the social services department with such advice
and assistance as they may reasonably request.
13.11. Housing authorities may also wish to consider alerting social services authorities to
cases where an applicant whose household includes a child has refused an offer of
accommodation which the authority is satisfied is suitable, and the authority has made
a decision that it has discharged its homelessness duty under Part 7. In such cases the
household could find itself without accommodation and any prospect of further
assistance from the housing authority. The applicant would, however, need to consent
to the housing authority notifying the social services authority of the essential facts of
his or her case (unless the housing authority has any other powers to disclose the
information without consent).
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CHAPTER 14: MAIN DUTIES OWED TO APPLICANTS
ON COMPLETION OF INQUIRIES
14.1. This chapter provides guidance on the main duties owed to applicants where the
housing authority has completed its inquiries and is satisfied that an applicant is
eligible for assistance and homeless or threatened with homelessness
The chapter
also provides guidance on the circumstances that will bring the s.193(2) duty
(‘the main homelessness duty’) to an end.

14.2. In many cases early, effective intervention can prevent homelessness occurring. The
Secretary of State considers that housing authorities should take steps to prevent
homelessness wherever possible, and offer a broad range of advice and assistance to
those who face the prospect of losing their current home. However, where a housing
authority has completed inquiries made under s.184 (see Chapter 6 for guidance on
applications) and is satisfied that an applicant is eligible for assistance and homeless
or threatened with homelessness, then one or more of the duties outlined in this
chapter will apply under Part 7.
14.3. No duty is owed under Part 7 to applicants who are ineligible for assistance or not
homeless or threatened with homelessness. However, homelessness strategies should
aim to prevent homelessness amongst all households in the district and under s.179
advice and information about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness must
be available free of charge to any person in the district, including these applicants.
Housing authorities may also choose to offer other assistance to help them obtain
accommodation, such as a rent deposit.
DUTIES TO PROVIDE ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
14.4. Housing authorities have a duty to ensure that the applicant is provided with advice
and assistance in a number of different circumstances, and these are dealt with below.
These duties require an assessment to be made of the housing needs of the applicant
before advice and assistance is provided. This assessment may need to range wider
than the housing authority’s inquiries into the applicant’s homelessness carried out for
the purpose of s.184, and should inform the provision of appropriate advice and
assistance for that particular applicant. Among other things, the Secretary of State
considers the assessment should identify any factors that may make it difficult for the
applicant to secure accommodation for him or herself, for example, poverty,
outstanding debt, health problems, disabilities and whether English is not a first
language. In particular, housing authorities are advised to take account of the
circumstances that led to the applicant’s homelessness, or threatened homelessness,
since these may impact on his or her ability to secure and maintain accommodation
and may indicate what types of accommodation would be appropriate.
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DUTIES OWED TO APPLICANTS WHO ARE THREATENED WITH
HOMELESSNESS

14.5. Under s.175(4), a person is “threatened with homelessness” if he or she is likely to
become homeless within 28 days. However, the Secretary of State considers that
housing authorities should not wait until homelessness is a likelihood or is imminent
before providing advice and assistance. Early intervention may enable homelessness to
be prevented, or delayed sufficiently to allow for a planned move to be arranged.
However, where a housing authority has completed its inquiries under s.184 and is
satisfied that an applicant is eligible for assistance and threatened with homelessness,
then the specific duties outlined in paragraphs 14.6 – 14.9 below will apply.
Unintentionally threatened with homelessness and has priority need
(s.195(2))

14.6. Where the authority are satisfied that an applicant is threatened with homelessness
unintentionally, eligible for assistance and has a priority need for accommodation, it
has a duty under s.195(2) to take reasonable steps to secure that accommodation does
not cease to be available for the applicant’s occupation.

14.7. Such reasonable steps may include for example, negotiation with the applicant’s
landlord or, in cases where the applicant has been asked to leave by family and
friends, by exploring the scope for mediation and the provision of support to the
household in order to ease any pressures that may have led to the applicant being
asked to leave. Where a housing authority is able to identify the precise reasons why
the applicant is being required to leave his or her current accommodation – for
example, by interviewing the applicant and visiting his or her landlord or family or
friends (as appropriate) – there may be specific actions that the housing authority or
other organisations can take, for example, addressing rent arrears due to delays in
housing benefit payments or providing mediation services through the voluntary
sector, that can prevent the threat of homelessness being realised. See Chapter 2 for
further guidance on preventing homelessness.
14.8. Under s.195(3A), as soon as an authority has become subject to a duty under s.195(2),
the authority must give the applicant a copy of the statement included in their
allocation scheme about their policy on offering choice to people allocated housing
accommodation under Part 6. Authorities are required to include such a statement in
their allocation scheme by virtue of s.167(1A) of the 1996 Act.
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14.9. Where the housing authority is under a duty under s.195(2) and they are unable to
prevent the applicant losing his or her current accommodation, the authority will need
to secure alternative suitable accommodation for the applicant. Authorities should not
delay; arrangements to secure alternative accommodation should begin as soon as it
becomes clear that it will not be possible to prevent the applicant from losing their
current home. Section 195(4) provides that, where alternative suitable accommodation
is secured, the provisions of s.193(3) to (9) will apply in relation to the duty under
s.195(2) as they apply in relation to the duty under s.193(2) (see paragraphs 14.17 to
14.24 below).
Unintentionally threatened with homelessness, no priority need (s.195(5)
and s.195(9))

14.10. Where the housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is threatened with
homelessness, eligible for assistance and does not have a priority need for
accommodation, it has a duty under s.195(5) to ensure that the applicant is provided
with advice and assistance in any attempts he or she may make to secure that
accommodation does not cease to be available for his or her occupation
.
14.11. In addition, where the housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is threatened
with homelessness unintentionally, it has a power under s.195(9) to take reasonable
steps to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for the applicant’s
occupation. 
See Chapter 2 for guidance on preventing homelessness and paragraph
14.7 above.
Intentionally threatened with homelessness and has priority need
(s.195(5))

14.12. Where the authority are satisfied that an applicant is threatened with homelessness
intentionally, eligible for assistance and has a priority need for accommodation, the
housing authority has a duty under s.195(5) to ensure that the applicant is provided
with advice and assistance in any attempts he or she may make to secure that
accommodation does not cease to be available for his or her occupation. 
See Chapter
2 for guidance on preventing homelessness.
DUTIES OWED TO APPLICANTS WHO ARE HOMELESS
14.13. Under s.175 a person is “homeless” if he or she has no accommodation in the UK or
elsewhere which is available for his or her occupation and which that person has a
legal right to occupy. Where a housing authority has completed its inquiries under
s.184 and is satisfied that an applicant is eligible for assistance and homeless then the
specific duties outlined below will apply.
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Unintentionally homeless and has priority need (s.193(2))
14.14. Where an applicant is unintentionally homeless, eligible for assistance and has a
priority need for accommodation, the housing authority has a duty under s.193(2) to
secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant 
(unless it
refers the application to another housing authority under s.198). This is commonly
known as ‘the main homelessness duty’. In all cases, the accommodation secured
must be available for occupation by the applicant together with any other person who
normally resides with him or her as a member of his or her family, or any other person
who might reasonably be expected to reside, with him or her, and must be suitable for
their occupation. See Chapter 16 for guidance on discharging the duty to secure
accommodation and Chapter 17 for guidance on suitability of accommodation.
14.15. Acceptance of a duty under s.193(2) does not prevent an immediate allocation of
accommodation under Part 6 of the 1996 Act if the applicant has the necessary
priority under the housing authority’s allocation scheme. Under s.193(3A), as soon as
an authority has become subject to a duty under s.193(2), the authority must give the
applicant a copy of the statement included in their allocation scheme about their
policy on offering choice to people allocated housing accommodation under Part 6.
Authorities are required to include such a statement in their allocation scheme by
virtue of s.167(1A) of the 1996 Act.
14.16. If the housing authority has notified the applicant that it proposes to refer the case to
another housing authority, the authority has a duty under s.200(1) to secure that
accommodation is available for the applicant until he or she is notified of the decision
whether the conditions for referral of his case are met. The duty under s.200(1) is
therefore an interim duty only. Once it has been established whether or not the
conditions for referral are met, a duty under s.193(2) will be owed by either the
notified housing authority or the notifying housing authority. See Chapter 18 for
guidance on referrals to another housing authority.
How the s.193(2) duty ends (this also applies where alternative accommodation has been
secured under s.195(2))

14.17. The housing authority will cease to be subject to the duty under s.193(2) (the main
homelessness duty) in the following circumstances:
i)
the applicant accepts an offer of accommodation under Part 6 (an allocation of
long term social housing) 
(s.193(6)(c)): this would include an offer of an assured
tenancy of a registered social landlord property via the housing authority’s
allocation scheme (see current guidance on the allocation of accommodation
issued under s.169 of the 1996 Act);
ii)
the applicant accepts an offer of an assured tenancy (other than an assured
shorthold tenancy) from a private landlord 
(s.193(6)(cc): this could include an
offer of an assured tenancy made by a registered social landlord;
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iii) the applicant accepts a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy from a
private landlord (s.193(7B)). The local authority must not approve an offer of an
assured shorthold tenancy for the purposes of s.193(7B), unless they are satisfied
that the accommodation is suitable and that it would be reasonable for the
applicant to accept it (s.193(7F)) (see paragraph 14.25 below);
iv) the applicant refuses a final offer of accommodation under Part 6 (an allocation
of long term social housing): the duty does not end unless the applicant is
informed of the possible consequences of refusal and of his or her right to ask for
a review of the suitability of the accommodation (s.193(7)), the offer is made in
writing and states that it is a final offer (s.193(7A)), and the housing authority is
satisfied that the accommodation is suitable and that it would be reasonable for
the applicant to accept it (s.193(7F)) (see paragraph 14.25 below);
v)
the applicant refuses an offer of accommodation to discharge the duty which the
housing authority is satisfied is suitable for the applicant 
(s.193(5)): the duty
does not end unless the applicant is informed of the possible consequences of
refusal and of his or her right to ask for a review of the suitability of the
accommodation. The housing authority must also notify the applicant that it
regards itself as having discharged its duty, before it can end;
vi) the applicant ceases to be eligible for assistance as defined in s.185 of the 1996
Act;
vii) the applicant becomes homeless intentionally from accommodation made
available to him or her under s.193 or s.195; see Chapter 11 for guidance on
determining whether an applicant became homeless intentionally;
viii) the applicant otherwise voluntarily ceases to occupy as his or her principal home
accommodation made available under s.193 or s.195.
14.18. The Secretary of State recommends that applicants are given the chance to view
accommodation before being required to decide whether they accept or refuse an
offer, and before being required to sign any written agreement relating to the
accommodation (e.g. a tenancy agreement). Under s.202(1A), an applicant who is
offered accommodation can request a review of its suitability whether or not he or she
has accepted the offer. See Chapter 17 for guidance on suitability and Chapter 19 for
guidance on reviews.
Qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy
14.19. An offer of an assured shorthold tenancy is a qualifying offer if:
i)
it is made, with the approval of the authority, in pursuance of arrangements made
by the authority with the landlord with a view to bringing the authority’s duty
under s.193 to an end;
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ii) it is for a fixed term within the meaning of Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (i.e.
not a periodic tenancy) and
iii) it is accompanied by a written statement that states the term of the tenancy being
offered and explains in ordinary language that there is no obligation on the
applicant to accept the offer, but if the offer is accepted the housing authority will
cease to be subject to the s.193 duty.
14.20. The s.193 duty will not end with acceptance of an offer of a qualifying tenancy unless
the applicant signs a statement acknowledging that he or she has understood the
written statement accompanying the offer.
Reasonable to accept an offer
14.21. Housing authorities must not make a final offer under Part 6 or approve a qualifying
offer of an assured shorthold tenancy unless they are satisfied that the accommodation
is suitable for the applicant and that it is reasonable for him or her to accept the offer
(s.193(7F)) (see Chapter 17 for guidance on suitability). Where an applicant has
contractual or other obligations in respect of his or her existing accommodation (e.g. a
tenancy agreement or lease), the housing authority can reasonably expect the offer to
be taken up only if the applicant is able to bring those obligations to an end before he
is required to take up the offer (s.193(8)).
14.22. Housing authorities must allow applicants a reasonable period for considering offers
of accommodation made under Part 6 that will bring the homelessness duty to an end
whether accepted or refused. There is no set reasonable period; some applicants may
require longer than others depending on their circumstances, whether they wish to
seek advice in making their decision and whether they are already familiar with the
property in question. Longer periods may be required where the applicant is in
hospital or temporarily absent from the district. In deciding what is a reasonable
period, housing authorities must take into account the applicant’s circumstances in
each case.
Other circumstances that bring the s.193(2) duty to an end
14.23. Under s.193(6) the housing authority will also cease to be subject to the duty under
s.193 in the following circumstances:
i)
the applicant ceases to be eligible for assistance as defined in s.185 of the
1996 Act;

ii) the applicant becomes homeless intentionally from accommodation made
available to him or her under s.193 or s.195: see Chapter 11 for guidance on
determining whether an applicant became homeless intentionally;
iii) the applicant otherwise voluntarily ceases to occupy as his or her only or
principal home accommodation made available under s.193 or s.195.
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Further applications
14.24. Under s.193(9) a person who ceases to be owed a duty under s.193(2) can make a
fresh application for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation (see
Chapter 6 for guidance on applications).
Unintentionally homeless and has no priority need (s.192(2) and
s.192(3))

14.25. Where an applicant is unintentionally homeless, eligible for assistance and does not
have a priority need for accommodation, the housing authority has a duty under
s.192(2) to ensure that the applicant is provided with advice and assistance in any
attempts he or she may make to secure that accommodation becomes available for his
or her occupation. 
The housing authority might, for example, provide assistance with
a rent deposit or guarantee to help the applicant to obtain accommodation in the
private rented sector, or advice on applying for an allocation of accommodation
through the social housing waiting list or through another social landlord (see Chapter
2 for guidance on advisory services).
14.26. In addition, housing authorities have a power under s.192(3) to secure that
accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant. Authorities should
consider whether to use this power in all relevant cases.
Intentionally homeless and has priority need (s.190(2))
14.27. Where an applicant is intentionally homeless, eligible for assistance and has a priority
need for accommodation, the housing authority has a duty under s.190(2) to:
a) secure that accommodation is available for the applicant’s occupation for such
period as it considers will give him or her a reasonable opportunity of securing
accommodation for his or her occupation (s.190(2)(a)); and

b) provide the applicant, or secure that the applicant is provided with, advice and
assistance in any attempts he or she may make to secure that accommodation
becomes available for his or her occupation (s.190(2)(b)).

14.28. The accommodation secured must be suitable. Housing authorities must consider each
case on its merits when determining the period for which accommodation will be
secured. A few weeks may provide the applicant with a reasonable opportunity to
secure accommodation for him or herself. However, some applicants might require
longer, and others, particularly where the housing authority provides pro-active and
effective advice and assistance, might require less time. In particular, housing
authorities will need to take account of the housing circumstances in the local area,
including how readily other accommodation is available in the district, and have
regard to the particular circumstances of the applicant, including the resources
available to him or her to provide rent in advance or a rent deposit where this may be
required by private landlords.
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14.29. In addition to securing accommodation, the housing authority must ensure the
applicant is provided with advice and assistance to help him or her secure
accommodation for him/herself. This might include, for example, assistance with a
rent deposit or guarantee to help the applicant to obtain accommodation in the private
rented sector, or advice on applying for an allocation of long term social housing or
accommodation through another social landlord. See Chapter 2 for guidance on
advisory services.
Intentionally homeless and has no priority need (s.190(3))
14.30. Where an applicant is intentionally homeless, eligible for assistance and does not have
a priority need for accommodation, the housing authority has a duty under s.190(3) to
ensure that the applicant is provided with advice and assistance in any attempts he or
she may make to secure that accommodation becomes available for his or her
occupation. 
This might include, for example, assistance with a rent deposit or
guarantee to help the applicant to obtain accommodation in the private rented sector,
or advice on applying for an allocation of long term social housing accommodation or
through another social landlord. See Chapter 2 for guidance on advisory services.
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CHAPTER 15: DISCRETIONARY POWERS TO
SECURE ACCOMMODATION
15.1. This chapter provides guidance on the discretionary powers housing authorities
have to secure accommodation for a household where they do not have a duty to
secure accommodation for that household (see Chapter 16 for guidance on
discharge of duties to secure accommodation).

15.2. Housing authorities have powers to secure accommodation for:
i)
applicants who are eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and do not
have a priority need for accommodation;
ii) applicants who request a review of the housing authority’s decision on their case
and who satisfy the relevant conditions, pending a decision on the review; and
iii) applicants who appeal to the county court against the housing authority’s decision
and who satisfy the relevant conditions, pending the determination of the appeal.
15.3. The fact that a housing authority has decided that an applicant is ineligible for housing
assistance under Part 7 does not preclude it from exercising its powers to secure
accommodation pending a review or appeal. However, housing authorities should note
that s.54 of, and Schedule 3 to, the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
prevent them from exercising their powers to accommodate an applicant pending a
review or appeal to the county court, where the applicant is a person who falls within
one of a number of classes of person specified in Schedule 3. See paragraphs 
9.20 – 9.23 in Chapter 9 on eligibility for assistance for further details.
WAYS OF SECURING ACCOMMODATION
15.4. A housing authority may only discharge its housing functions under Part 7 in the
following ways:
a) by securing that suitable accommodation provided by them is available for the
applicant (s.206(1)(a));
b) by securing that the applicant obtains suitable accommodation from some other
person (s.206(1)(b)); or
c) by giving the applicant such advice and assistance as will secure that suitable
accommodation is available from some other person (s.206(1)(c)).
See Chapter 17 for guidance on the suitability of accommodation and Chapter 8 for
guidance on when accommodation is available for occupation. In so far as is
reasonably practicable, accommodation should be secured within the authority’s own
district (s.208(1)).
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POWER TO SECURE ACCOMMODATION FOR APPLICANTS
WHO ARE UNINTENTIONALLY HOMELESS AND DO NOT HAVE
PRIORITY NEED

15.5. Under s.192(3), housing authorities may secure that accommodation is made available
for applicants who are eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and do not
have a priority need for accommodation. Where a housing authority decides to
exercise this power it will still have a duty under s.192(2) to provide advice and
assistance to the applicant in any attempts that he or she may make to secure
accommodation for him/herself. See Chapter 14 for guidance on this duty.
15.6. By virtue of paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985, a tenancy granted
under the power in s.192(3) will not be a secure tenancy. Housing authorities are
reminded that all secure and introductory tenancies must be allocated in accordance
with their allocation scheme, as framed under Part 6.
15.7. Housing authorities should consider using this power in all relevant cases. Any
exercise of, or decision not to exercise, a power may be open to challenge by way of
judicial review. In considering the use of this power, housing authorities must have
regard to the legitimate expectations of others in housing need who have applied for
an allocation of housing under Part 6, and to any need for accommodation to meet
their obligations under Part 7.
15.8. Housing authorities should, in particular, consider exercising the s.192(3) power in
circumstances where to do so would enable compliance with the obligations imposed
on them by virtue of s.6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and where not doing so would
mean acting in a way that may be incompatible with the applicant’s Convention rights.
The same is true of the power in s.195(8) (see paragraph 15.17 below).
15.9. Housing authorities may also wish to consider exercising the s.192(3) power to
provide accommodation for a limited period to applicants such as key workers who
are unintentionally homeless but do not have priority need under Part 7, or priority for
an allocation under Part 6. This would be particularly appropriate where it would be in
the interests of the local community for such persons to be accommodated in the
district. 
15.10. Non-secure tenancies will generally be suitable for a limited period only. They should
be provided as part of a managed programme of accommodation to give the applicant
an opportunity to secure a more settled housing solution in due course. This should be
explained to the applicant from the outset and the housing authority should assist him
or her to secure alternative accommodation. Reasonable notice should be given of a
decision to stop exercising the power.
15.11. Housing authorities should not provide accommodation under s.192(3) as an
alternative to allocating accommodation under Part 6 and should not allow non-secure
tenancies to continue over the long-term.
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POWERS TO ACCOMMODATE PENDING A REVIEW
15.12. Under s.202, applicants have the right to ask for a review of a housing authority’s
decision on a number of issues relating to their case (see Chapter 19 for guidance on
reviews). Housing authorities have three powers to accommodate applicants pending a
decision on the review. The relevant powers are found in s.188(3), s.195(8)(b) and
s.200(5).
15.13. Under s.188(1), housing authorities must secure that accommodation is available for
occupation by an applicant who they have reason to believe is:
(a) homeless,
(b) eligible for assistance, and
(c) in priority need,
pending their decision as to what duty, if any, is owed to that applicant under Part 7.
See Chapter 7 for further guidance on this interim duty. Under s.188(3), if the
applicant requests a review of the housing authority’s decision on the duty owed to
them under Part 7, the authority has the power to secure that accommodation is
available for the applicant’s occupation pending a decision on the review.
15.14. Section 188(3) includes a power to secure that accommodation is available where the
applicant was found to be intentionally homeless and in priority need and:
(a) a duty was owed under s.190(2)(a);
(b) the s.190(2)(a) duty has been fully discharged; and
(c) the applicant is awaiting a decision on a review.
15.15. In considering whether to exercise their s.188(3) power, housing authorities will need
to balance the objective of maintaining fairness between homeless persons in
circumstances where they have decided that no duty is owed to them against proper
consideration of the possibility that the applicant might be right. The Secretary of
State is of the view that housing authorities should consider the following, although
other factors may also be relevant:
(a) the merits of the applicant’s case that the original decision was flawed and the
extent to which it can properly be said that the decision was one which was either
contrary to the apparent merits or was one which involved a very fine balance of
judgment;
(b) whether any new material, information or argument has been put to them which
could alter the original decision; and
(c) the personal circumstances of the applicant and the consequences to him or her of
a decision not to exercise the discretion to accommodate.
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The Secretary of State considers that when determining the merits of the applicant’s
case that the original decision was flawed, housing authorities should take account of
whether there may have been procedural irregularities in making the original decision
which could have affected the decision taken.
15.16. Housing authorities should give applicants reasonable notice to vacate accommodation
provided under s.188(3) following an unsuccessful s.202 review. The Secretary of
State considers that reasonableness should be judged against the particular applicant’s
circumstances. The applicant will require time to enable him or her to make
alternative accommodation arrangements and housing authorities should take account
of the fact that this may be easier for some applicants than others. Housing authorities
may also require time to consider whether they should exercise their discretion under
s.204(4) where the applicant appeals to the county court under s.204(1) (see paragraph
15.21).
15.17. Under s.195(5)(b), where a housing authority is satisfied that an applicant is:
(a) threatened with homelessness,
(b) eligible for assistance, and
(c) has a priority need, but
(d) became threatened with homelessness intentionally,
the authority is under a duty to provide the applicant (or secure that he or she is
provided with) advice and assistance so that accommodation does not cease to be
available for his or her occupation. Under s.195(8)(b), if the applicant requests a
review of the housing authority’s decision and, pending a decision on the review,
becomes homeless, the housing authority may secure that accommodation is available
for his or her occupation.
15.18. Under s.200(1), where a housing authority notifies another authority of its opinion
that the conditions for the referral of an applicant’s case to that authority are met, the
authority has a duty to secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the
applicant until a decision on the referral is reached. See Chapter 18 for guidance on
local connection and referrals. If the applicant subsequently requests a review of the
decision reached on the referral of his or her case, the notifying authority has the
power under s.200(5) to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant’s
occupation pending the decision on that review.
15.19. Where, generally, only a small proportion of requests for a review are successful, it
may be open to housing authorities to adopt a policy of deciding to exercise their
powers to accommodate pending a review only in exceptional circumstances.
However, such a policy would need to be applied flexibly and each case would need to
be considered on its particular facts. In deciding whether there were exceptional
circumstances, the housing authority would need to take account of all material
considerations and disregard all those which were immaterial.
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15.20. Where an applicant is refused accommodation pending a review, he or she may seek
to challenge the decision by way of judicial review.
POWER TO ACCOMMODATE PENDING AN APPEAL TO THE
COUNTY COURT

15.21. Applicants have the right to appeal to the county court on a point of law against a
housing authority’s decision on a review or, if they are not notified of the review
decision, against the original homelessness decision (see Chapter 19 for guidance on
appeals). Under s.204(4), housing authorities have the power to accommodate certain
applicants:
(a) during the period for making an appeal against their decision, and
(b) if an appeal is brought, until it and any subsequent appeals are finally determined.
This power may be exercised where the housing authority was previously under a duty
to secure accommodation for the applicant’s occupation under s.188 (interim duty
pending initial inquiries), s.190 (duty owed to applicants intentionally homeless and in
priority need), or s.200 (interim duty owed pending decision on a referral). The power
may also be exercised in a case where the applicant was owed a duty under s.195(5)(b)
(intentionally threatened with homelessness and in priority need), the applicant
requested a review and subsequently become homeless, and, in consequence, the
housing authority had a power under s.195(8)(b) to secure accommodation pending
the decision on the review.
15.22. The power under s.204(4) may be exercised whether or not the housing authority has
exercised its powers to accommodate the applicant pending a review.
15.23. In deciding whether to exercise this power, housing authorities will need to adopt the
same approach, and consider the same factors, as for a decision whether to exercise
their power to accommodate pending a review (see paragraph 15.12).
15.24. Under s.204A, applicants have a right to appeal to the county court against a decision
not to secure accommodation for them pending their main appeal. In deciding a
s.204A appeal, the court must apply the principles that would be applied by the High
Court on an application for judicial review. The county court cannot substitute its own
decision as such. However, where the court quashes the decision of the housing
authority, it may order the housing authority to accommodate the applicant, but only
where it is satisfied that failure to do so would substantially prejudice the applicant’s
ability to pursue the main appeal on the homelessness decision.
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CHAPTER 16: SECURING ACCOMMODATION 
16.1. This chapter provides guidance on the different ways in which housing
authorities can ensure that suitable accommodation is available for applicants.
In the case of the main homelessness duty the obligation to secure such
accommodation will continue until such time as the duty ends in accordance 
with s.193.

WAYS OF SECURING ACCOMMODATION
16.2. Section 206(1) provides that a housing authority may only discharge its housing
functions under Part 7 in the following ways:
(a) by securing that suitable accommodation provided by them is available for the
applicant (s.206(1)(a));
(b) by securing that the applicant obtains suitable accommodation from some other
person (s.206(1)(b)); or
(c) by giving the applicant such advice and assistance as will secure that suitable
accommodation is available from some other person (s.206(1)(c)).
16.3. Accommodation secured must be available for occupation by the applicant and any
other person who normally resides with them as a member of their family, or might
reasonably be expected to reside with them. The accommodation must also be suitable
for their occupation. See Chapter 8 for guidance on when accommodation is available
for occupation and Chapter 17 for guidance on the suitability of accommodation.
16.4. In deciding what accommodation needs to be secured housing authorities will need to
consider whether the applicant has any support needs. Housing authorities will
therefore need to make arrangements for effective links with the Supporting People
team, the social services authority or other bodies (for example, Primary Care Trusts,
Criminal Justice Services, RSLs and voluntary and community organisations) to
ensure that a joint assessment of an applicant’s housing and support needs can be
made where necessary. See Chapter 4 for guidance on securing support services.
16.5. Where a housing authority has a duty under s.193(2) to secure accommodation for an
applicant (‘the main homelessness duty’), the Secretary of State recommends that the
authority considers, where availability of suitable housing allows, securing settled
(rather than temporary) accommodation that will bring the duty to an end in the
immediate or short term. For example, an offer of accommodation under the housing
authority’s allocation scheme or a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy
from a private landlord. See Chapter 14 for guidance on bringing the s.193(2) duty to
an end.
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16.6. The Secretary of State considers that, generally, it is inappropriate for social housing
to be used as temporary accommodation for applicants other than for short periods
(see paragraph 16.18 below). Except in limited circumstances where social housing is
only going to be available for use for a short period, where an authority has placed a
household in social housing as a temporary arrangement to fulfil a duty under
s.193(2), the Secretary of State recommends that the authority considers offering the
household a settled home under the terms of its allocation scheme as soon as possible.
ACCOMMODATION SECURED OUT OF DISTRICT
16.7. Section 208(1) requires housing authorities to secure accommodation within their
district, in so far as is reasonably practicable. Housing authorities should, therefore,
aim to secure accommodation within their own district wherever possible, except
where there are clear benefits for the applicant of being accommodated outside of the
district. This could occur, for example, where the applicant, and/or a member of his or
her household, would be at risk of domestic or other violence in the district and need
to be accommodated elsewhere to reduce the risk of further contact with the
perpetrator(s) or where ex-offenders or drug/alcohol users would benefit from being
accommodated outside the district to help break links with previous contacts which
could exert a negative influence.
16.8. Where it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to be placed in accommodation
within the housing authority’s district, and the housing authority places the applicant
in accommodation elsewhere, s.208(2) requires the housing authority to notify the
housing authority in whose district the accommodation is situated of the following:
i)
the name of the applicant;
ii) the number and description of other persons who normally reside with the
applicant as a member of his or her family or might reasonably be expected to 
do so;
iii) the address of the accommodation;
iv) the date on which the accommodation was made available;
v) which function the housing authority is discharging in securing the
accommodation.
The notice must be given in writing within 14 days of the accommodation being made
available to the applicant.
16.9. The Secretary of State considers that applicants whose household has a need for social
services support or a need to maintain links with other essential services within the
borough, for example specialist medical services or special schools, should be given
priority for accommodation within the housing authority’s own district. In particular,
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careful consideration should be given to applicants with a mental illness or learning
disability who may have a particular need to remain in a specific area, for example to
maintain links with health service professionals and/or a reliance on existing informal
support networks and community links. Such applicants may be less able than others to
adapt to any disruption caused by being placed in accommodation in another district.
ACCESS TO SUPPORT SERVICES
16.10. The Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities consider what
arrangements need to be in place to ensure that households placed in temporary
accommodation, within their district or outside, are able to access relevant support
services, including health, education and social services. The Secretary of State
considers that all babies and young children placed in temporary accommodation, for
example, should have the opportunity to receive health and developmental checks
from health visitors and/or other primary health care professionals. See Chapter 4 for
further guidance on securing support services.
ACCOMMODATION PROVIDED BY THE HOUSING AUTHORITY
16.11. Housing authorities may secure accommodation by providing suitable accommodation
for the applicant themselves (s.206(1)(a)), in which case the housing authority will be
the immediate landlord of the applicant, for example, where the housing authority
place the applicant in:
i)
a house or flat from its own stock (i.e. held under Part 2 of the Housing Act 1985);
ii) a hostel owned by the housing authority; or
iii) accommodation leased by the housing authority from another landlord (e.g. under
a private sector leasing agreement) and sub-let to the applicant.
Housing authority’s own stock
16.12. In considering whether to provide accommodation from their own stock, housing
authorities will need to balance the requirements of applicants owed a duty under 
Part 7 against the need to provide accommodation for others who have priority for an
allocation under Part 6 of the 1996 Act. The Secretary of State considers that,
generally, it is inappropriate for social housing to be used as temporary
accommodation for applicants other than for short periods.

16.13. Paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 provides that a tenancy granted by
a housing authority in pursuance of any function under Part 7 is not a secure tenancy
unless the housing authority notifies the tenant that it is such. Housing authorities are
reminded that the allocation of secure and introductory tenancies must be made in
accordance with their allocation scheme framed under the provisions of Part 6.
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Housing authority hostels
16.14. Some housing authorities operate their own hostels and may wish to use these to
accommodate certain applicants, particularly where they consider an applicant would
benefit from a supported environment. See paragraphs 16.25 and 16.26 for further
guidance on the use of hostel accommodation.
Accommodation leased from a private landlord
16.15. Accommodation leased from a private landlord can provide housing authorities with a
source of good quality, self-contained accommodation which can be let to applicants.
Where there is a need for temporary accommodation, housing authorities are
encouraged to maximise their use of this type of leasing, in so far as they can secure
cost-effective arrangements with landlords.
16.16. Under the prudential capital finance system (introduced by the Local Government Act
2003 on 1 April 2004) local authorities are free to borrow without Government
consent, provided that they can service the debts without extra Government support.
The authority must determine how much it can afford to borrow. The new system
ended the former financial disincentives to use leasing (and other forms of credit).
Consequently, there is no longer any need for special concessions relating to leases of
property owned by private landlords where that property is used to accommodate
households owed a duty under Part 7. When entering into leases, as when borrowing,
the capital finance rules simply require authorities to be satisfied that the associated
liabilities are affordable.
ACCOMMODATION SECURED FROM ANOTHER PERSON
16.17. Housing authorities may secure that the applicant obtains suitable accommodation
from some other person (s.206(1)(b)). Housing authorities can make use of a wide
range of accommodation, including housing in the private rented sector and
accommodation held by RSLs. The following paragraphs outline a number of options
for securing accommodation from another landlord, which are available to housing
authorities.
Registered social landlords
16.18. As the proportion of housing stock in the social sector held by RSLs increases,
housing authorities should ensure that they maximise the opportunities for securing
housing from RSLs. Under s.213 of the 1996 Act, where requested by a housing
authority, an RSL must assist the housing authority in carrying out their duties under
the homelessness legislation by co-operating with them as far as is reasonable in the
circumstances. Housing Corporation regulatory guidance, issued with the consent of
the Secretary of State under s.36 of the 1996 Act, requires RSLs, on request, to
provide a proportion of their stock for nominations and as temporary accommodation
for people owed a homelessness duty under Part 7 of the 1996 Act – to such extent as
is reasonable in the circumstances. The Secretary of State considers that, generally,
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it is inappropriate for social housing to be used as temporary accommodation
other than for short periods 
(see paragraph 16.6 above). Where a longer-term stay
occurs or seems likely, the authority and RSL should consider offering an assured
tenancy to bring the main homelessness duty to an end. See Annex 5 for further
guidance on RSL co-operation with housing authorities.
16.19. Housing authorities may wish to consider contracting with RSLs for assistance in
discharging their housing functions under arrangements whereby the RSL lease and/or
manage accommodation owned by private landlords, which can be let to households
owed a homelessness duty and nominated by the housing authority. A general consent
under s.25 of the Local Government Act 1988 (The General Consent under Section 25
of the Local Government Act 1988 for Financial Assistance to Registered Social
Landlords or to Private Landlords to Relieve or Prevent Homelessness 2005
) allows
housing authorities to provide RSLs with financial assistance in connection with such
arrangements. Housing authorities must reserve the right to terminate such
agreements, without penalty, after 3 years.
Private lettings
16.20. Housing authorities may seek the assistance of private sector landlords in providing
suitable accommodation direct to applicants. A general consent under s.25 of the
Local Government Act 1988 (The General Consent under Section 25 of the Local
Government Act 1988 for Financial Assistance to Registered Social Landlords or to
Private Landlords to Relieve or Prevent Homelessness 2005
) allows housing
authorities to provide financial assistance to private landlords in order to secure
accommodation for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This could
involve, for example, the authority paying the costs of leases; making small one-off
grants (“finders’ fees”) to landlords to encourage them to let dwellings to households
owed a homelessness duty; paying rent deposits or indemnities to ensure
accommodation is secured for such households; and making one-off grant payments
which would prevent an eviction. There is no limit set on the amount of financial
assistance that can be provided, however authorities are obliged to act reasonably and
in accordance with their fiduciary duty to local tax and rent payers. Housing
authorities may also make Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to a private
landlord to meet a shortfall between the rent and the amount of housing benefit
payable to a person who is homeless or at risk of homelessness. DHPs are intended to
provide extra financial assistance where there is a shortfall in a person’s eligible rent
and the housing authority consider that the claimant is in need of further financial
assistance. They are governed by the Discretionary Housing Payment (Grant) Order
2001
. Housing authorities should also consider working with private landlords to
arrange qualifying offers of assured shorthold tenancies which would bring the main
homelessness duty to an end if accepted by the applicant. See paragraph 14.19 for
guidance on qualifying offers.
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Tenancies granted by private landlords and registered social landlords
to assist with interim duties

16.21. Section 209 governs security of tenure where a private landlord provides
accommodation to assist a housing authority discharge an interim duty, for example, a
duty under s.188(1), s.190(2), s.200(1) or 204(4). Any such accommodation is exempt
from statutory security of tenure until 12 months from the date on which the applicant
is notified of the authority’s decision under s.184(3) or s.198(5) or from the date on
which the applicant is notified of the decision of any review under s.202 or an appeal
under s.204, unless the landlord notifies the applicant that the tenancy is an assured or
assured shorthold tenancy.
16.22. Where a private landlord or RSL lets accommodation directly to an applicant to assist
a housing authority discharge any other homelessness duty, the tenancy granted will
be an assured shorthold tenancy unless the tenant is notified that it is to be regarded as
an assured tenancy.
Other social landlords
16.23. Under s.213 other social landlords, i.e. new town corporations and housing action
trusts, have a duty to co-operate, as far as is reasonable in the circumstances, with a
housing authority in carrying out their housing functions under Part 7 of the 1996 Act,
if asked to do so.
Lodgings
16.24. Lodgings provided by householders may be suitable for some young and/or vulnerable
single applicants. Housing authorities may wish to establish a network of such
landlords in their district, and to liaise with social services who may operate supported
lodgings schemes for people with support needs.
Hostels
16.25. Some applicants may benefit from the supportive environment which managed hostels
can provide. Hostels can offer short-term support to people who are experiencing a
temporary crisis, and provide an opportunity for them to regain their equilibrium and
subsequently move on to live independently. Where an applicant appears to need
support, particularly on-going support, and there is no social worker or support worker
familiar with their case, the housing authority should request a community care
assessment by the social services authority. However, housing authorities should not
assume that a hostel will automatically be the most appropriate form of
accommodation for vulnerable people, particularly in relation to young people,
people with mental health problems and those who have experienced violence and/or
abuse. In addition, where hostel accommodation is used to accommodate vulnerable
young people or families with children, the Secretary of State considers that it would
be inappropriate to accommodate these groups alongside adults with chaotic
behavioural problems.
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16.26. Housing authorities will need to take into account that some hostels are designed to
meet short-term needs only. In addition to the question of whether the hostel
accommodation would be suitable for the applicant for other than a short period,
housing authorities should have regard to the need to ensure that bed spaces continue
to be available in hostels for others who need them.
Women’s refuges
16.27. Housing authorities should develop close links with women’s refuges within their
district, and neighbouring districts, to ensure they have access to emergency
accommodation for women applicants who are fleeing domestic or other violence or
who are at risk of such violence. However, housing authorities should recognise that
placing an applicant in a refuge will generally be a temporary expedient only, and a
prolonged stay could block a bed space that was urgently needed by someone else at
risk. Refuges should be used to provide accommodation for the minimum period
necessary before alternative suitable accommodation is secured elsewhere. Housing
authorities should not delay in securing alternative accommodation in the hope that
the applicant might return to her partner.
Bed and breakfast accommodation
16.28. Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodation caters for very short-term stays only and
generally will afford residents only limited privacy and may lack certain important
amenities, such as cooking and laundry facilities. Consequently, where possible,
housing authorities should avoid using B&B hotels to discharge a duty to secure
accommodation for applicants, unless, in the very limited circumstances where it is
likely to be the case, it is the most appropriate option for an applicant. The Secretary
of State considers B&B hotels as particularly unsuitable for accommodating
applicants with family commitments and applicants aged 16 or 17 years who need
support. See paragraphs 17.23 et seq in Chapter 17 for guidance on suitability and
Chapter 12 for more detailed guidance on 16 and 17 year olds.
Accommodation provided by other housing authorities
16.29. Other housing authorities experiencing less demand for housing may be able to assist
a housing authority by providing temporary or settled accommodation for homeless
applicants. This could be particularly appropriate in the case of applicants who would
be at risk of violence or serious harassment in the district of the housing authority to
whom they have applied for assistance. Other housing authorities may also be able to
provide accommodation in cases where the applicant has special housing needs and
the other housing authority has accommodation available which is appropriate to those
needs. Under s.213(1), where one housing authority requests another to help them
discharge a function under Part 7, the other housing authority must co-operate in
providing such assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances. Housing authorities
are encouraged to consider entering into reciprocal and co-operative arrangements
under these provisions. See Chapter 5 for guidance on the statutory provisions on
co-operation between authorities.
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Mobile homes
16.30. Although mobile homes may sometimes provide emergency or short-term
accommodation, e.g. to discharge an interim duty, housing authorities will need to be
satisfied that the accommodation is suitable for the applicant and his or her household,
paying particular regard to their needs, requirements and circumstances and the
conditions and facilities on the site. Caravans designed primarily for short-term
holiday use should not be regarded as suitable as temporary accommodation for
applicants.
Tenancies for minors
16.31. There are legal complications associated with the grant of a tenancy to a minor
because a minor cannot hold a legal estate in land. However, if a tenancy is granted it
is likely to be enforceable as a contract for necessaries (ie. the basic necessities of life)
under common law. In some circumstances, social services authorities may consider
it appropriate to underwrite a tenancy agreement for a homeless applicant who is
under 18.
ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE THAT WILL SECURE
ACCOMMODATION FROM ANOTHER PERSON

16.32. Housing authorities may secure accommodation by giving advice and assistance to an
applicant that will secure that accommodation becomes available for him or her from
another person (s.206(1)(c)). However, where an authority has a duty to secure
accommodation, they will need to ensure that the advice and assistance provided
results in suitable accommodation actually being secured. Merely assisting the
applicant in any efforts that he or she might make to find accommodation would not
be sufficient if suitable accommodation did not actually become available.
16.33. One example of securing accommodation in this way is where house purchase is a
possibility for the applicant. Advice on all options for financing house purchase
should be made available, especially those financial packages which may be suited to
people on lower incomes.
16.34. One option to help people into home ownership is shared equity schemes (e.g. part
buy/part rent or equity loans to assist with purchase). These schemes are mainly
funded by the Housing Corporation and generally offered by RSLs. The Housing
Corporation publishes booklets (available from their publication section) giving
further details of the existing shared ownership and Homebuy schemes. A new
HomeBuy scheme offering further opportunities for home ownership and building on
the current schemes commenced on 1st April 2006.
16.35. In other cases, applicants may have identified suitable accommodation but need
practical advice and assistance to enable them to secure it, for example the applicant
may require help with understanding a tenancy agreement or financial assistance with
paying a rent deposit.
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16.36. Housing authorities should bear in mind that the advice and assistance must result in
suitable accommodation being secured, and that applicants who wish to pursue this
option may need alternative accommodation until this result is achieved.
APPLICANTS WHO NORMALLY OCCUPY MOVEABLE
ACCOMMODATION (E.G. CARAVANS, HOUSEBOATS)

16.37. Under s.175(2) applicants are homeless if the accommodation available for their
occupation is a caravan, houseboat, or other movable structure and they do not have a
place where they are entitled, or permitted, to put it and live in itIf a duty to secure
accommodation arises in such cases, the housing authority is not required to make
equivalent accommodation available (or provide a site or berth for the applicant’s own
accommodation). However, the authority must consider whether such options are
reasonably available, particularly where this would provide the most suitable solution
to the applicant’s accommodation needs.
Gypsies and Travellers
16.38. The circumstances described in paragraph 16.37 will be particularly relevant in the
case of Gypsies and Travellers. Where a duty to secure accommodation arises but an
appropriate site is not immediately available, the housing authority may need to
provide an alternative temporary solution until a suitable site, or some other suitable
option, becomes available. Some Gypsies and Travellers may have a cultural aversion
to the prospect of ‘bricks and mortar’ accommodation. In such cases, the authority
should seek to provide an alternative solution. However, where the authority is
satisfied that there is no prospect of a suitable site for the time being, there may be no
alternative solution. Authorities must give consideration to the needs and lifestyle of
applicants who are Gypsies and Travellers when considering their application and how
best to discharge a duty to secure suitable accommodation, in line with their
obligations to act consistently with the Human Rights Act 1998, and in particular the
right to respect for private life, family and the home.
Temporary to settled accommodation
16.39. Housing authorities are encouraged to test new approaches that would enable
temporary accommodation to become settled accommodation. This would reduce the
uncertainty and lack of security that households in temporary accommodation can
face, and provide them with a settled home more quickly. Such approaches could be
developed with housing associations through a range of “temporary to settled”
housing initiatives.
16.40. Each year approximately a quarter to a third of all leases of private sector
accommodation held by social landlords expire. This presents an opportunity for the
leased accommodation to be converted from use as temporary accommodation to the
provision of settled housing, through negotiation with the landlord and the tenant
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during the final months of the lease. Where the household would be content to remain
in the accommodation when the lease ends if it could be provided on a more settled
basis, and the landlord would be prepared to let directly to the household, the local
authority may wish to arrange for the landlord to make a ‘qualifying offer’ of an
assured shorthold tenancy, for the purposes of s.193(7B). See paragraph 14.19 for
guidance on ‘qualifying offer’.
16.41. Where scope for conversion of temporary accommodation to settled accommodation
is explored, the interests of the household must take priority, and the household should
not be pressured to accept offers of accommodation that would bring the homelessness
duty to an end.
16.42. There may also be limited potential for converting temporary accommodation leased
from the private sector to a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy at the
beginning or mid-point of a lease. However, this would probably require the lease to
include a break clause to facilitate early termination.
16.43. While the local authority holds the lease of accommodation owned by a private sector
landlord, the accommodation would not be capable of being offered to a household as
a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy under s.193(7B). However, where a
registered social landlord held such a lease, the accommodation may be capable of
being offered to a household as a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy
under s.193(7B) during the period of the lease, if all the parties agreed and the
qualifying offer met the terms of s.193(7D).
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CHAPTER 17: SUITABILITY OF ACCOMMODATION
17.1. This chapter provides guidance on the factors to be taken into account when
determining the suitability of temporary accommodation secured under the
homelessness legislation. Key factors include: the needs, requirements and
circumstances of each household; space and arrangement; health and safety
considerations; affordability, and location. Annex 16 sets out the statutory
definition of overcrowding and Annex 17 sets out the minimum recommended
standards for Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

17.2. Section 206 provides that where a housing authority discharges its functions to secure
that accommodation is available for an applicant the accommodation must be suitable.
This applies in respect of all powers and duties to secure accommodation under Part 7,
including interim duties such as those under s.188(1) and s.200(1). The accommodation
must be suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of his or her household
who normally reside with him or her, or who might reasonably be expected to reside
with him or her.
17.3. Suitability of accommodation is governed by s.210. Section 210(2) provides for the
Secretary of State to specify by order the circumstances in which accommodation is or
is not to be regarded as suitable for someone, and matters to be taken into account or
disregarded in determining whether accommodation is suitable for someone.
17.4. Space and arrangement will be key factors in determining the suitability of
accommodation. However, consideration of whether accommodation is suitable will
require an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation in the light of the relevant
needs, requirements and circumstances of the homeless person and his or her family.
The location of the accommodation will always be a relevant factor (see paragraph
17.41).
17.5. Housing authorities will need to consider carefully the suitability of accommodation
for applicants whose household has particular medical and/or physical needs. The
Secretary of State recommends that physical access to and around the home, space,
bathroom and kitchen facilities, access to a garden and modifications to assist sensory
loss as well as mobility need are all taken into account. These factors will be
especially relevant where a member of the household is disabled.
17.6. Account will need to be taken of any social considerations relating to the applicant
and his or her household that might affect the suitability of accommodation. Any risk
of violence or racial harassment in a particular locality must also be taken into
account. Where domestic violence is involved and the applicant is not able to stay in
the current home, housing authorities may need to consider the need for alternative
accommodation whose location can be kept a secret and which has security measures
and staffing to protect the occupants. For applicants who have suffered domestic
violence who are accommodated temporarily in hostels or bed and breakfast
accommodation, the accommodation may need to be gender-specific as well as have
security measures.
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17.7. Accommodation that is suitable for a short period, for example bed and breakfast or
hostel accommodation used to discharge an interim duty pending inquiries under
s.188, may not necessarily be suitable for a longer period, for example to discharge a
duty under s.193(2).
17.8. As the duty to provide suitable accommodation is a continuing obligation, housing
authorities must keep the issue of suitability of accommodation under review. If there
is a change of circumstances of substance the authority is obliged to reconsider
suitability in a specific case.
STANDARDS OF ACCOMMODATION
17.9. Section 210(1) requires a housing authority to have regard to the following provisions
when assessing the suitability of accommodation for an applicant:
• Parts 9 and 10 of the Housing Act 1985 (the “1985 Act”) (slum clearance and
overcrowding), and
• Parts 1 to 4 of the Housing Act 2004 (the “2004 Act”) (housing conditions,
licensing of houses in multiple occupation, selective licensing of other residential
accommodation and additional control provisions in relation to residential
accommodation.)
Fitness for habitation
17.10. Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 (the “2004 Act”) contains provisions that replace the
housing fitness regime in s.604 of the 1985 Act. From 6th April 2006, the fitness
standard in the 1985 Act is replaced by a new evidence-based assessment of risks to
health and safety in all residential premises (including HMOs), carried out using the
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Part 9 of the 1985 Act is
retained, with amendments, to deal with hazards for which demolition or area
clearance is the most appropriate option.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
17.11. Action by local authorities is based on a three-stage consideration: (a) the hazard
rating determined under HHSRS; (b) whether the authority has a duty or power to act,
determined by the presence of a hazard above or below a threshold prescribed by
Regulations (Category 1 and Category 2 hazards); and (c) the authority’s judgment as
to the most appropriate course of action to deal with the hazard.
17.12. The purpose of the HHSRS assessment is to generate objective information in order to
determine and inform enforcement decisions. HHSRS allows for the assessment of
twenty nine categories of housing hazard and provides a method for rating each
hazard. It does not provide a single rating for the dwelling as a whole or, in the case of
HMOs, for the building as a whole. A hazard rating is expressed through a numerical
score which falls within a band, ranging from Band A to J. Scores in Bands A to C are
Category 1 hazards. Scores in Bands D to J are Category 2 hazards. If a housing
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authority considers that a Category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, they
have a duty under the 2004 Act to take appropriate enforcement action in relation to
the hazard. They also have a power to take particular kinds of enforcement action in
cases where they consider that a Category 2 hazard exists.
17.13. The HHSRS assessment is based on the risk to the potential occupant who is most
vulnerable to that hazard. For example, stairs constitute a greater risk to the elderly, so
for assessing hazards relating to stairs they are considered the most vulnerable group.
The very young as well as the elderly are susceptible to low temperatures. A dwelling
that is safe for those most vulnerable to a hazard is safe for all.
17.14. Housing authorities should be familiar with the principles of the HHSRS and with the
operational guidance issued under s.9 of the 2004 Act.
17.15. The Secretary of State recommends that when determining the suitability of
accommodation secured under the homelessness legislation, local authorities
should, as a minimum, ensure that all accommodation is free of Category 1
hazards
. In the case of an out of district placement it is the responsibility of the
placing authority to ensure that accommodation is free of Category 1 hazards.
Overcrowding
17.16. Part 10 of the 1985 Act is intended to tackle the problems of overcrowding in
dwellings. Section 324 provides a definition of overcrowding which in turn relies on
the room standard specified in s.325 and the space standard in s.326 (the standards are
set out in Annex 17).
17.17. A room provided within an HMO may be defined as a “dwelling” under Part 10 of the
1985 Act and the room and space standards will therefore apply. Housing authorities
should also note that ‘crowding and space’ is one of the hazards assessed by the
HHSRS. Any breach of the room and space standards under Part 10 is likely to
constitute a Category 1 hazard.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
17.18. Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the 2004 Act – which came into force on 6 April 2006 – contain
provisions to replace Part 11 of the 1985 Act which relates to HMOs.
17.19. The 2004 Act introduces a new definition of an HMO. A property is an HMO if it
satisfies the conditions set out in sections 254(2) to (4), has been declared an HMO
under s.255 or is a converted block of flats to which s.257 applies.
17.20. Privately owned Bed and Breakfast or hostel accommodation that is used to
accommodate a household pursuant to a homelessness function, and which is the
household’s main residence, will fall within this definition of an HMO. Buildings
managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS), local housing
authority, registered social landlord or buildings which are already regulated under
other legislation (such as care homes or bail hostels) will be exempt from the HMO
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definition. Buildings which are occupied entirely by freeholders or long leaseholders,
those occupied by only two people, or by a resident landlord with up to two tenants
will also be exempt. Most student accommodation (housing students undertaking a
course in higher or further education) will also be exempt if it is managed and
controlled by the establishment in accordance with a code of management practice.
17.2l. From 6 April 2006, local authorities have been required to undertake the mandatory
licensing of all privately rented HMOs (except converted blocks of flats to which
s.257 applies) of three or more storeys and occupied by five or more people who form
two or more households. Local authorities will also have discretionary powers to
introduce additional licensing schemes covering smaller HMOs. In order to be a
licence holder, a landlord will have to be a “fit and proper” person, as defined in s.89
of the Act and demonstrate that suitable management arrangements are in place in
their properties.
17.22. In addition a local authority will have to be satisfied that the HMO is suitable for the
number of occupants it is licensed for and meets statutory standards relating to shared
amenities and facilities, e.g. that it has an adequate number, type and quality of shared
bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities. These standards are set out in Schedule 3 to
the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses
(Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006 
(SI No 2006/373). These
‘amenity standards’ will run alongside the consideration of health and safety issues
under HHSRS. The Housing (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation)
Regulations 1990 
are to be replaced by the Management of Houses in Multiple
Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 
(SI 2006/372). Neither the amenity standards
nor the new management regulations apply to HMOs that are converted blocks of flats
to which s.257 applies. It is intended that separate regulations will be made by July 6th
to modify Part 2 of the 2004 Act (which deals with mandatory licensing) in so far as it
relates to these types of HMO, and to extend, with modifications, the application of
the new amenity standards and management regulations to these types of HMO. Until
then they will continue to be subject to the registration schemes made under Part 11 of
the 1985 Act. Transitional arrangements have been in place since April 2006 so that
most HMOs that are registered in a 1985 scheme will automatically be licensed under
the 2004 Act.
17.23. Local authorities also have discretion to extend licensing to privately rented properties
in all, or part of, their area to address particular problems, such as low housing
demand or significant incidence of anti-social behaviour. However, licensing in these
selective circumstances is concerned only with property management and not the
condition of the property.
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BED AND BREAKFAST ACCOMMODATION
17.24. Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodation caters for very short-term stays only and
generally will afford residents only limited privacy and may lack certain important
amenities, such as cooking and laundry facilities. Consequently, where possible,
housing authorities should avoid using B&B hotels to discharge a duty to secure
accommodation for homeless applicants, unless, in the very limited circumstances
where it is likely to be the case, it is the most appropriate option for the applicant.
17.25. Living in B&B accommodation can be particularly detrimental to the health and
development of children. Under s.210(2), the Secretary of State has made the
Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003 (SI 2003 No.
3326) (“the Order”). The Order specifies that when accommodation is made available
for occupation under certain functions in Part 7, B&B accommodation is not to be
regarded as suitable for applicants with family commitments.
17.26. Housing authorities should, therefore, use B&B hotels to discharge a duty to secure
accommodation for applicants with family commitments only as a last resort.
Applicants with family commitments means an applicant -
(a) who is pregnant;
(b) with whom a pregnant woman resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;
or
(c) with whom dependent children reside or might reasonably be expected to reside.
17.27. For the purpose of the Order, B&B accommodation means accommodation (whether
or not breakfast is included):
(a) which is not separate and self-contained premises; and
(b) in which any of the following amenities is shared by more than one household:
(i)
a toilet;
(ii) personal washing facilities;
(iii) cooking facilities.
B&B accommodation does not include accommodation which is owned or managed
by a local housing authority, a registered social landlord or a voluntary organisation as
defined in section 180(3) of the Housing Act 1996.
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17.28. B&B accommodation is not to be regarded as suitable for applicants with family
commitments (except as specified in paragraph 17.29 below) for the purpose of
discharging a duty under the following duties:
• section 188(1) (interim duty to accommodate in case of apparent priority need);
• section 190(2)(a) (duties to persons becoming homeless intentionally);
• section 193(2) (duty to persons with priority need who are not homeless
intentionally);
• section 200(1) (duty to applicant whose case is considered for referral or referred);
and
• section 195(2) (duties in cases of threatened homelessness) where the
accommodation is other than that occupied by the applicant at the time of making
his or her application.
17.29. The Order provides that if no alternative accommodation is available for the applicant
the housing authority may accommodate the family in B&B for a period, or periods,
not exceeding six weeks in result of a single homelessness application. Where B&B
accommodation is secured for an applicant with family commitments, the
Secretary of State considers that the authority should notify the applicant of the
effect of the Order, and, in particular, that the authority will be unable to
continue to secure B&B accommodation for such applicants any longer than 
6 weeks, after which they must secure alternative, suitable accommodation
.
17.30. When determining whether accommodation other than B&B accommodation is
available for use, housing authorities will need to take into account, among other
things, the cost to the authority of securing the accommodation, the affordability of
the accommodation for the applicant and the location of the accommodation. An
authority is under no obligation to include in its considerations accommodation which
is to be allocated in accordance with its allocation scheme, published under s.167 of
the 1996 Act.
17.31. If there is a significant change in an applicant’s circumstances that would bring the
applicant within the scope of the Order (e.g. a new pregnancy), the six week period
should start from the date the authority was informed of the change of circumstances
not the date the applicant was originally placed in B&B accommodation.
17.32. If the conditions for referring a case are met and another housing authority accepts
responsibility for an applicant under s.200(4), any time spent in B&B accommodation
before this acceptance should be disregarded in calculating the six week period.
17.33. B&B accommodation is also unlikely to be suitable for 16 and 17 year olds who are in
need of support. Where B&B accommodation is used for this group it ought to be as a
last resort for the shortest time possible and housing authorities will need to ensure
that appropriate support is provided where necessary. See Chapter 12 for guidance on
the use of B&B for 16 and 17 year olds.
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17.34. The Secretary of State considers that the limited circumstances in which B&B hotels
may provide suitable accommodation could include those where:
(a) emergency accommodation is required at very short notice (for example to
discharge the interim duty to accommodate under s.188); or
(b) there is simply no better alternative accommodation available and the use of B&B
accommodation is necessary as a last resort.
17.35. The Secretary of State considers that where housing authorities are unable to avoid
using B&B hotels to accommodate applicants, they should ensure that such
accommodation is of a good standard (see paragaphs 17.36–17.38 below) and is used
for the shortest period possible. The Secretary of State considers that where a lengthy
stay seems likely, the authority should consider other accommodation more
appropriate to the applicant’s needs.
Standards of B&B accommodation
17.36. Where housing authorities are unable to avoid using B&B hotels to accommodate
applicants they should ensure that such accommodation is of a suitable standard.
Where a B&B hotel is used to accommodate an applicant and is their main residence,
it falls within the definition of an HMO. Paragraphs 17.18 – 17.23 above explain the
legislation that applies to HMOs with regard to health and safety and overcrowding.
Since April 2006, local authorities have a power under the 2004 Act to issue an HMO
Declaration confirming HMO status where there is uncertainty about the status of a
property.
17.37. The Government recognises that living conditions in HMOs should not only be
healthy and safe but should also provide acceptable, decent standards for people who
may be unrelated to each other and who are sharing basic facilities. As noted at
paragraph 17.22 above, the Government has set out in regulation the minimum
‘amenity standards’ required for a property to be granted an HMO licence. These
standards will only apply to ‘high-risk’ HMOs covered by mandatory licensing or
those HMOs that will be subject to additional licensing, and will not apply to the
majority of HMOs. However, housing authorities (or groups of authorities) can adopt
their own local classification, amenity specification or minimum standards for B&B
and other shared accommodation provided as temporary accommodation under Part 7.
In London, for example, boroughs have, since 1988, had a code of practice on the use
of B&B and other shared temporary accommodation used to accommodate
households under Part 7. This establishes clear benchmarks for standards across the
Capital. Under the code of practice, properties are graded from A to E, with the
grading dependent upon a wide range of considerations and factors relating to the
facilities and services provided by an establishment. Placements are expected to be
made only in those properties that meet the required standard. Setting the Standard
(STS), a new automated system administered by the Greater London Authority
(GLA), assists boroughs to comply with the code of practice. It collects and collates
information from environmental health officers’ annual inspections of properties and
then makes this easily accessible to relevant borough officers across London. For
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further information on STS contact xxx@xxxxxx.xxx.xx. The Secretary of State
welcomes these arrangements and encourages other housing authorities to consider
adopting similar systems to support the exchange of information and improve
standards of temporary accommodation.
17.38. The Government considers that the size and occupancy levels of rooms, the provision
and location of cooking, toilet and bathing facilities, and management standards are
particularly important factors for determining whether B&B accommodation is
suitable for accommodating households under Part 7. The Secretary of State therefore
recommends that housing authorities have regard to the recommended minimum
standards set out in Annex 17 when assessing whether B&B accommodation is suitable.
AFFORDABILITY
17.39. Under s.210(2), the Secretary of State has made the Homelessness (Suitability of
Accommodation) Order 1996 (SI 1996 No. 3204). The 1996 Order specifies that in
determining whether it would be, or would have been, reasonable for a person to
occupy accommodation that is considered suitable, a housing authority must take into
account whether the accommodation is affordable by him or her, and in particular
must take account of:
(a) the financial resources available to him or her (i.e. all forms of income), including,
but not limited to:
i)
salary, fees and other remuneration (from such sources as investments,
grants, pensions, tax credits etc.)
;
ii)
social security benefits (such as housing benefit, income support, income-
based Jobseekers Allowances or Council Tax benefit etc.)
;
iii)
payments due under a court order for the making of periodical payments to a
spouse or a former spouse, or to, or for the benefit of, a child;
iv)
payments of child support maintenance due under the Child Support Act 1991;
v)
pensions;
vi)
contributions to the costs in respect of the accommodation which are or were
made or which might reasonably be expected to be, or have been, made by
other members of his or her household (most members can be assumed to
contribute, but the amount depends on various factors including their age
and income. Other influencing factors can be drawn from the parallels of
their entitlement to housing benefit and income support in relation to
housing costs. Current rates should be available from housing authority
benefit sections)
;
vii) financial assistance towards the costs in respect of the accommodation,
including loans, provided by a local authority, voluntary organisation or
other body;
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viii) benefits derived from a policy of insurance (such as cover against
unemployment or sickness);
ix)
savings and other capital sums (which may be a source of income or might
be available to meet accommodation expenses . However, it should be borne
in mind that, again drawing from the parallel social securities assistance,
capital savings below a threshold amount are disregarded for the purpose of
assessing a claim)
;
(b) the costs in respect of the accommodation, including, but not limited to:
i)
payments of, or by way of, rent (including rent default/property damage
deposits)
;
ii)
payments in respect of a licence or permission to occupy the
accommodation;
iii)
mortgage costs (including an assessment of entitlement to Income Support
Mortgage Interest (ISMI))
;
iv)
payments of, or by way of, service charges (e.g. maintenance or other costs
required as a condition of occupation of the accommodation)
;
v)
mooring charges payable for a houseboat;
vi)
where the accommodation is a caravan or a mobile home, payments in
respect of the site on which it stands;
vii) the amount of council tax payable in respect of the accommodation;
viii) payments by way of deposit or security in respect of the accommodation;
ix)
payments required by an accommodation agency;
(c) payments which that person is required to make under a court order for the
making of periodical payments to a spouse or former spouse, or to, or for the
benefit of, a child and payments of child support maintenance required to be made
under the Child Support Act 1991; and
(d) his or her other reasonable living expenses.
17.40. In considering an applicant’s residual income after meeting the costs of the
accommodation, the Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities regard
accommodation as not being affordable if the applicant would be left with a residual
income which would be less than the level of income support or income-based
jobseekers allowance that is applicable in respect of the applicant, or would be
applicable if he or she was entitled to claim such benefit. This amount will vary from
case to case, according to the circumstances and composition of the applicant’s
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household. A current tariff of applicable amounts in respect of such benefits should be
available within the authority’s housing benefit section. Housing authorities will need
to consider whether the applicant can afford the housing costs without being deprived
of basic essentials such as food, clothing, heating, transport and other essentials. The
Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities avoid placing applicants who
are in low paid employment in accommodation where they would need to resort to
claiming benefit to meet the costs of that accommodation, and to consider
opportunities to secure accommodation at affordable rent levels where this is likely to
reduce perceived or actual disincentives to work.
LOCATION OF ACCOMMODATION
17.41. The location of the accommodation will be relevant to suitability and the suitability of
the location for all the members of the household will have to be considered. Where,
for example, applicants are in paid employment account will need to be taken of their
need to reach their normal workplace from the accommodation secured. The Secretary
of State recommends that local authorities take into account the need to minimise
disruption to the education of young people, particularly at critical points in time such
as close to taking GCSE examinations. Housing authorities should avoid placing
applicants in isolated accommodation away from public transport, shops and other
facilities, and, wherever possible, secure accommodation that is as close as possible to
where they were previously living, so they can retain established links with schools,
doctors, social workers and other key services and support essential to the well-being
of the household.
HOUSEHOLDS WITH PETS
17.42. Housing authorities will need to be sensitive to the importance of pets to some
applicants, particularly elderly people and rough sleepers who may rely on pets for
companionship. Although it will not always be possible to make provision for pets, the
Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities give careful consideration to
this aspect when making provision for applicants who wish to retain their pet.
ASYLUM SEEKERS
17.43. Since April 2000 the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) has had responsibility
for providing support, including accommodation, to asylum seekers who would
otherwise be destitute, whilst their claims and appeals are being considered. Some
local authorities may still be providing accommodation to asylum seekers who applied
for asylum prior to April 2000 and whose cases have not yet been resolved. However,
the number of these cases, if any, will be small and declining.
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17.44. Section 210(1A) provides that, in considering whether accommodation is suitable for
an applicant who is an asylum seeker, housing authorities:
(a) shall also have regard to the fact that the accommodation is to be temporary
pending the determination of the applicant’s claim for asylum; and
(b) shall not have regard to any preference that the applicant, or any person who
might reasonably be expected to reside with him or her, may have as to the
locality of the accommodation secured.
RIGHT TO REQUEST A REVIEW OF SUITABILITY
17.45. Applicants may ask for a review on request of the housing authority’s decision that the
accommodation offered to them is suitable under s.202(1)(f), although this right does
not apply in the case of accommodation secured under s.188, the interim duty to
accommodate pending inquiries, or s.200(1), the interim duty pending the decision on
a referral. Under s.202(1A) an applicant may request a review as to suitability
regardless of whether or not he or she accepts the accommodation. This applies
equally to offers of accommodation made under s.193(5) to discharge the s.193(2)
duty and to offers of an allocation of accommodation made under s.193(7) that would
bring the s.193(2) duty to an end. This means that the applicant is able to ask for a
review of suitability without inadvertently bringing the housing duty to an end (see
Chapter 19 for guidance on reviews). Housing authorities should note that although
there is no right of review of a decision on the suitability of accommodation secured
under s.188 or s.200(1), such decisions could nevertheless be subject to judicial
review in the High Court.
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CHAPTER 18: LOCAL CONNECTION AND REFERRALS
TO ANOTHER HOUSING AUTHORITY
18.1. This chapter provides guidance on the provisions relating to an applicant’s “local
connection” with an area and explains the conditions and procedures for
referring an applicant to another housing authority.

18.2. Where a housing authority (“the notifying authority”) decide that s.193 applies to an
applicant (i.e. the applicant is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and has
a priority need) but it considers that the conditions for referral of the case to another
housing authority are met, they may notify the other housing authority (“the notified
authority”) of their opinion.
18.3. Notwithstanding that the conditions for a referral are apparently met, it is the
responsibility of the notifying authority to determine whether s.193 applies before
making a reference. Applicants can only be referred to another authority if the
notifying authority is satisfied that the applicant is unintentionally homeless,
eligible for assistance and has a priority need. 
Applicants cannot be referred while
they are owed only the interim duty under s.188, or any duty other than the s.193 duty
(e.g. where they are threatened with homelessness or found to be homeless
intentionally).
18.4. Referrals are discretionary only: housing authorities are not required to refer
applicants to other authorities. Nor are they, generally, required to make any
inquiries as to whether an applicant has a local connection with an area. 
However,
by virtue of s.11 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act
2004
, housing authorities will need to consider local connection in cases where the
applicant is a former asylum seeker:
i)
who was provided with accommodation in Scotland under s.95 of the Immigration
and Asylum Act 1999
, and
ii) whose accommodation was not provided in an accommodation centre by virtue of
s.22 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.
In such cases, by virtue of s.11(2)(d) and (3) of the Asylum and Immigration
(Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004
, local connection to a district in England,
Wales or Scotland will be relevant to what duty is owed under s. 193. (See paragraph
18.21 below.)
18.5. Housing authorities may have a policy about how they may exercise their discretion to
refer a case. This must not, however, extend to deciding in advance that in all cases
where there is a local connection to another district the case should be referred.
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18.6. The Local Government Association (LGA) has issued guidelines for housing
authorities about procedures for referring a case. These include guidance on issues
such as local connection and invoking the disputes procedure when two housing
authorities are unable to agree whether the conditions for referral are met. (A copy of
the LGA guidelines is at Annex 18 for information).
CONDITIONS FOR REFERRAL
18.7. Sections 198(2) and (2A) describe the conditions which must be satisfied before a
referral may be made. A notifying authority may refer an applicant to whom s.193
applies to another housing authority if all of the following are met:
i)
neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to live
with him or her has a local connection with its district; and
ii) at least one member of the applicant’s household has a local connection with the
district of the authority to be notified; and
iii) none of them will be at risk of domestic or non-domestic violence, or threat of
domestic or non-domestic violence which is likely to be carried out, in the district
of the authority to be notified.
LOCAL CONNECTION
18.8. When a housing authority makes inquiries to determine whether an applicant is
eligible for assistance and owed a duty under Part 7, it may also make inquiries under
s.184(2) to decide whether the applicant has a local connection with the district of
another housing authority in England, Wales or Scotland.
18.9. Section 199(1) provides that a person has a local connection with the district of a
housing authority if he or she has a connection with it:
i)
because he or she is, or was in the past, normally resident there, and that residence
was of his or her own choice; or
ii) because he or she is employed there; or
iii) because of family associations there; or
iv) because of any special circumstances.
18.10. For the purposes of (i), above, residence in temporary accommodation provided by a
housing authority under s.188 can constitute normal residence of choice and therefore
contribute towards a local connection. With regard to (ii) the applicant should actually
work in the district: it would not be sufficient that his or her employers’ head office
was located there. For the purposes of (iii), where the applicant raises family
associations, the Secretary of State considers that this may extend beyond parents,
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adult children or siblings. They may include associations with other family members
such as step-parents, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts or uncles provided there are
sufficiently close links in the form of frequent contact, commitment or dependency.
Family associations may also extend to unmarried couples, provided that the
relationship is sufficiently enduring, and to same sex couples. With regard to (iv),
special circumstances might include the need to be near special medical or support
services which are available only in a particular district.
18.11. The grounds in s.199(1) should be applied in order to establish whether the applicant
has the required local connection. However, the fact that an applicant may satisfy one
of these grounds will not necessarily mean that he or she has been able to establish a
local connection. For example, an applicant may be “normally resident” in an area
even though he or she does not intend to settle there permanently or indefinitely, and
the local authority could therefore determine that he or she does not have a local
connection. The overriding consideration should always be whether the applicant has a
real local connection with an area – the specified grounds are subsidiary to that
overriding consideration.
18.12. In assessing whether an applicant’s household has a local connection with either its
district or a district to which the case might be referred, a housing authority should
also consider whether any person who might reasonably be expected to live with the
applicant has such a connection.
18.13. A housing authority may not seek to transfer responsibility to another housing
authority where the applicant has a local connection with their district but they
consider there is a stronger local connection elsewhere. However, in such a case, it
would be open to a housing authority to seek assistance from the other housing
authority in securing accommodation, under s.213.
18.14. Where a person has a local connection with the districts of more than one other
housing authority, the referring housing authority will wish to take account of the
applicant’s preference in deciding which housing authority to notify.
Ex-service personnel
18.15. Under s.199(2) and (3), serving members of the armed forces, and other persons who
normally live with them as part of their household, do not establish a local connection
with a district by virtue of serving, or having served, there while in the forces.
Ex-prisoners and detainees under the Mental Health Act 1983
18.16. Similarly, detention in prison (whether convicted or not) does not establish a local
connection with the district the prison is in. However, any period of residence in
accommodation prior to imprisonment may give rise to a local connection under
s.199(1)(a). The same is true of those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
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Former asylum seekers
18.17. Sections 199(6) and (7) were inserted by section 11 of the Asylum and Immigration
(Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004. Section 199(6) provides that a person has a
local connection with the district of a housing authority if he or she was (at any time)
provided with accommodation there under s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
1999 
(“s.95 accommodation”).
18.18. Under s.199(7), however, a person does not have a local connection by virtue of
s.199(6):
(a) if he or she has been subsequently provided with s.95 accommodation in a
different area. Where a former asylum seeker has been provided with s.95
accommodation in more than one area, the local connection is with the area where
such accommodation was last provided; or
(b) if they have been provided with s.95 accommodation in an accommodation
centre in the district by virtue of s.22 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum
Act 2002
.
18.19. A local connection with a district by virtue of s.199(6) does not override a local
connection by virtue of s.199(1). Thus, a former asylum seeker who has a local
connection with a district because he or she was provided with accommodation there
under s.95 may also have a local connection elsewhere for some other reason, for
example, because of employment or family associations.
Former asylum seekers provided with s.95 accommodation in Scotland
18.20. Under Scottish legislation, a person does not establish a local connection with a
district in Scotland if he or she is resident there in s.95 accommodation. Consequently,
if such a person made a homelessness application to a housing authority in England,
and he or she did not have a local connection with the district of that authority, the
fact that he or she had been provided with s.95 accommodation in Scotland would not
establish conditions for referral to the relevant local authority in Scotland.
18.21. Sections 11(2) and (3) of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc)
Act 2004 provides that where a housing authority in England or Wales is satisfied that
an applicant is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need
and:
i)
the applicant has been provided with s.95 accommodation in Scotland at any time;
ii) the s.95 accommodation was not provided in an accommodation centre by virtue
of s.22 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002;
iii) the applicant does not have a local connection anywhere in England and Wales
(within the meaning of s.199 of the 1996 Act); and
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iv) the applicant does not have a local connection anywhere in Scotland (within the
meaning of s.27 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987);
then the duty to the applicant under s.193 (the main homelessness duty) shall not
apply. However, the authority:
(a) may secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant for a
period giving him or her a reasonable opportunity of securing accommodation for
his or her occupation; and
(b) may provide the applicant (or secure that he or she is provided with) advice and
assistance in any attempts he or she may make to secure accommodation for his or
her occupation.
When dealing with an applicant in these circumstances, authorities will need to take
into account the wishes of the applicant but should consider providing such advice
and assistance as would enable the applicant to make an application for housing to the
Scottish authority in the district where the s.95 accommodation was last provided, or
to another Scottish authority of the applicant’s choice. If such a person was
unintentionally homeless and in priority need, it would be open to them to apply to
any Scottish housing authority and a main homelessness duty would be owed to them.
No local connection anywhere
18.22. If an applicant, or any person who might reasonably be expected to live with the
applicant, has no local connection with any district in Great Britain, the duty to secure
accommodation will rest with the housing authority that has received the application.
RISK OF VIOLENCE
18.23. A housing authority cannot refer an applicant to another housing authority if that
person or any person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him or her
would be at risk of violence. The housing authority is under a positive duty to enquire
whether the applicant would be at such a risk and, if he or she would, it should not be
assumed that the applicant will take steps to deal with the threat.
18.24. Section 198(3) defines violence as violence from another person or threats of violence
from another person which are likely to be carried out. This is the same definition as
appears in s.177 in relation to whether it is reasonable to continue to occupy
accommodation and the circumstances to be considered as to whether a person runs a
risk of violence are the same.
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18.25. Housing authorities should be alert to the deliberate distinction which is made in
s.198(3) between actual violence and threatened violence. A high standard of proof of
actual violence in the past should not be imposed. The threshold is that there must be:
(a) no risk of domestic violence (actual or threatened) in the other district; and
(b) no risk of non-domestic violence (actual or threatened) in the other district.
Nor should “domestic violence” be interpreted restrictively (see definitions in the
introduction to this Code).
DUTIES WHERE CASE REFERRED TO ANOTHER
HOUSING AUTHORITY

18.26. If a housing authority decide to refer a case to another housing authority, they will
need to notify the other housing authority that they believe the conditions for referral
are met (s.198(1)). They must also notify the applicant that they have notified, or
intend to notify, another housing authority that they consider that the conditions for
referral are met (s.184(4)). At that point, the notifying authority would cease to be
subject to the interim duty to accommodate under s.188(1) but will owe a duty under
s.200(1) to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant until the question
of whether the conditions for referral are met is decided.
18.27. Under s.200(4), if the referral is accepted by the notified authority they will be under
a duty to secure accommodation for the applicant under s.193(2). Regardless of
whether the notified authority had reached a different decision on a previous
application, it is not open to it to re-assess the notifying authority’s decision that the
applicant is eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need. Nor may the
notified authority rely on an offer of accommodation which was refused having been
made in pursuance of a previous application to it.
18.28. Under s.200(3), if it is decided that the conditions for referral are not met, the
notifying authority will be under a duty to secure accommodation for the applicant
under s.193(2).
18.29. When the question of whether the conditions for referral to the notified authority are
met has been decided, the notifying housing authority must notify the applicant of the
decision and the reasons for it (s.200(2)). The notification must also advise the
applicant of his or her right to request a review of the decision, and the timescale
within which such a request must be made. The interim duty to accommodate under
s.200(1) ends regardless of whether the applicant requests a review of the decision.
However, where the applicant does request a review the notifying authority has a
power under s.200(5) to secure that accommodation is available pending the review
decision. (See Chapter 15 for guidance on powers to secure accommodation).
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18.30. Notifications to the applicant must be provided in writing and copies made available
at the housing authority’s office for collection by the applicant, or his or her
representative, for a reasonable period.
DISPUTES
18.31. Applicants have the right to request a review of various decisions relating to local
connection and referrals (see Chapter 19 for further guidance). There is not a right to
request a review of a housing authority’s decision not to refer a case, although a
failure by a housing authority to consider whether it has the discretion to refer an
applicant may be amenable to challenge by way of judicial review. The same is true of
an unreasonable use of the discretion.
18.32. The question of whether the conditions for referral are met in a particular case should
be decided by agreement between the housing authorities concerned. If they cannot
agree, the decision should be made in accordance with such arrangements as may be
directed by order of the Secretary of State (s.198(5)).
18.33. The Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No. 1578) directs
that the arrangements to be followed in such a dispute are the arrangements agreed
between the local authority associations (i.e. the Local Government Association, the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association
and the Association of London Government).
18.34. The arrangements are set out in the Schedule to the Order. Broadly speaking, they
provide that in the event of two housing authorities being unable to agree whether the
conditions for referral are met, they must agree on a person to be appointed to make
the decision for them. If unable to agree on that, they should agree to request the LGA
to appoint someone. In default of this, the notifying housing authority must make such
a request of the LGA. In all cases the appointed person must be drawn from a panel
established by the LGA for the purpose. The Local Government Association has
issued guidelines for housing authorities on invoking the disputes procedure (a copy is
at Annex 18 for information).
18.35. The arrangements set out in the Schedule to SI 1998 No.1578 apply where a housing
authority in England, Wales or Scotland seek to refer a homelessness case to another
housing authority in England or Wales, and they are unable to agree whether the
conditions for referral are met. A similar Order, the Homelessness (Decisions on
Referrals) (Scotland) Order 1998
, SI 1998 No.1603 applies under the Scottish
homelessness legislation. The arrangements in the latter apply in cases where a
housing authority in England, Wales or Scotland refer a homelessness case to a
housing authority in Scotland, and they are unable to agree whether the conditions for
referral are met.
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18.36. Where an English or Welsh housing authority seek to refer a case to a Scottish
housing authority, a request to the local authority association to appoint an arbitrator
should be made to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
18.37. A notified authority which wishes to refuse a referral because it disagrees on a
finding as to the application of s.193 to the applicant must challenge the notifying
authority’s finding (for example as to intentionality) by way of judicial review.
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CHAPTER 19: REVIEW OF DECISIONS AND APPEALS
TO THE COUNTY COURT
19.1. This chapter provides guidance on the procedures to be followed when an
applicant requests the housing authority to review their decision on the
homelessness case.

RIGHT TO REQUEST A REVIEW
19.2. Applicants have the right to request the housing authority to review their decisions on
homelessness cases in some circumstances. If the request is made in accordance with
s.202 the housing authority must review the relevant decision.
19.3. When a housing authority have completed their inquiries into the applicant’s
homelessness case they must notify the applicant of:
(a) their decision and, if any decision is against the applicant’s interest, the reasons
for it;
(b) the applicant’s right to request a review; and
(c) the time within which such a request must be made.
Housing authorities should also advise the applicant of his or her right to request a
review of the suitability of any accommodation offered as a discharge of a
homelessness duty, whether or not the offer is accepted. Authorities should also advise
the applicant of the review procedures.
19.4. Under s.202 an applicant has the right to request a review of:
(a) any decision of a housing authority about his or her eligibility for assistance 
(i.e. whether he or she is considered to be a person from abroad who is ineligible
for assistance under Part 7);
(b) any decision of a housing authority as to what duty (if any) is owed to him or her
under s.190, s.191, s.192, s.193, s.195 and s.196 (duties owed to applicants who
are homeless or threatened with homelessness);
(c) any decision of a housing authority to notify another housing authority under
s.198(1) (i.e. a decision to refer the applicant to another housing authority because
they appear to have a local connection with that housing authority’s district and
not with the district where they have made the application);
(d) any decision under s.198(5) whether the conditions are met for the referral of the
applicant’s case (including a decision taken by a person appointed under the
Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No.1578));
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(e) any decision under s.200(3) or (4) (i.e a decision as to whether the notified
housing authority or the notifying housing authority owe the duty to secure
accommodation in a case considered for referral or referred);
(f) any decision of a housing authority as to the suitability of accommodation offered
to the applicant under any of the provisions in (b) or (e) above or the suitability of
accommodation offered under s.193(7) (allocation under Part 6). Under
s.202(1A), applicants can request a review of the suitability of accommodation
whether or not they have accepted the offer. 
19.5. An applicant must request a review before the end of the period of 21 days beginning
with the day on which he or she is notified of the housing authority’s decision. The
housing authority may specify, in writing, a longer period during which a review may
be requested. Applicants do not have a right to request a review of a decision made on
an earlier review.
19.6. In reviewing a decision, housing authorities will need to have regard to any
information relevant to the period before the decision (even if only obtained
afterwards) as well as any new relevant information obtained since the decision.
THE REVIEW REGULATIONS
19.7. The Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999
(SI 1999 No.71) set out the procedures to be followed by housing authorities in
carrying out reviews under Part 7.
Who may carry out the review
19.8. A review may be carried out by the housing authority itself or by someone acting as
an agent of the housing authority (see Chapter 21 on contracting out homelessness
functions). Where the review is to be carried out by an officer of the housing
authority, the officer must not have been involved in the original decision, and he or
she must be senior to the officer (or officers) who took that decision. Seniority for
these purposes means seniority in rank or grade within the housing authority’s
organisational structure. The seniority provision does not apply where a committee or
sub-committee of elected members took the original decision.
19.9. Where the decision under review is a joint decision by the notifying housing authority
and the notified housing authority as to whether the conditions of referral of the case
are satisfied, s.202(4) requires that the review should be carried out jointly by the two
housing authorities. Where the decision under review was taken by a person appointed
pursuant to the arrangements set out in the Schedule to the Homelessness (Decisions
on Referrals) Order 1998 
(SI 1998 No.1578), the review must be carried out by
another person appointed under those arrangements (see paragraph 19.15).
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Written representations
19.10. The applicant should be invited to make representations in writing in connection with
his or her request for a review. The relevant provisions in Part 7 give a person an
unfettered right to request a review of a decision, so he or she is not required to
provide grounds for challenging the housing authority’s decision. The purpose of the
requirement is to invite the applicant to state his or her grounds for requesting a
review (if he or she has not already done so) and to elicit any new information that the
applicant may have in relation to his or her request for a review.
19.11. Regulation 6 requires the housing authority to notify the applicant that he or she, or
someone acting on his or her behalf, may make written representations in connection
with the request for a review. The notice should also advise the applicant of the
procedure to be followed in connection with the review (if this information has not
been provided earlier). Regulation 6 also provides that:
i)
where the original decision was made jointly by the notifying and notified housing
authorities under s.198(5), the notification should be made by the notifying
housing authority; and
ii) where the original decision was made by a person appointed pursuant to the
Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No.1578), the
notification should be made by the person appointed to carry out the review.
Oral hearings
19.12. Regulation 8 provides that in cases where a review has been requested, if the housing
authority, authorities or person carrying out the review consider that there is a
deficiency or irregularity in the original decision, or in the manner in which it was
made, but they are minded nonetheless to make a decision that is against the
applicant’s interests on one or more issues, they should notify the applicant:
(a) that they are so minded and the reasons why; and,
(b) that the applicant, or someone acting on his or her behalf, may, within a
reasonable period, make oral representations, further written representations, or
both oral and written representations.
19.13. Such deficiencies or irregularities would include:
i)
failure to take into account relevant considerations and to ignore irrelevant ones;
ii) failure to base the decision on the facts;
iii) bad faith or dishonesty;
iv) mistake of law;
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v) decisions that run contrary to the policy of the 1996 Act;
vi) irrationality or unreasonableness;
vii) procedural unfairness, e.g. where an applicant has not been given a chance to
comment on matters relevant to a decision.
19.14. The reviewer must consider whether there is “something lacking” in the decision, i.e.
were any significant issues not addressed or addressed inadequately, which could have
led to unfairness.
Period during which review must be completed
19.15. Regulation 9 provides that the period within which the applicant must be notified of
the decision on review is:
i)
eight weeks from the day of the request for a review, where the original decision
was made by the housing authority;
ii) ten weeks, where the decision was made jointly by two housing authorities under
s.198(5) (a decision whether the conditions for referral are met);
iii) twelve weeks, where the decision is taken by a person appointed pursuant to the
Schedule to the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order (SI 1998 No.1578).
The regulations provide that in all of these cases it is open to the reviewer to seek the
applicant’s agreement to an extension of the prescribed period; any such agreement
must be given in writing.
Late representations
19.16. The regulations require the reviewer(s) to consider any written representations
received subject to compliance with the requirement to notify the applicant of the
decision on review within the period of the review, i.e. the period prescribed in the
regulations or any extended period agreed in writing by the applicant. It may in some
circumstances be necessary to make further enquiries of the applicant about
information he or she has provided. The reviewer(s) should be flexible about allowing
such further exchanges, having regard to the time limits for reviews prescribed in the
regulations. If this leads to significant delays, the applicant may be approached to
agree an extension in the period for the review. Similarly, if an applicant has been
invited to make oral representations and this requires additional time to arrange, the
applicant should be asked to agree an appropriate extension.
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PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW OF DECISIONS MADE UNDER THE
DECISIONS ON REFERRALS ORDER

19.17. Where the original decision under s.198(5) was made by a person appointed pursuant
to the Schedule to the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998
No.1578), regulation 7 provides that a review should be carried out by another person
appointed by the notifying housing authority and the notified housing authority. This
requirement applies even where the original decision was carried out by a person
appointed from the panel by the chairman of the Local Government Association, or
his or her nominee. If, however, the two housing authorities fail to appoint a person to
carry out the review within five working days of the date of the request for a review,
the notifying housing authority must request the chairman of the Local Government
Association to appoint a person from the panel. The chairman, in turn, must within
seven working days of that request appoint a person from the panel to undertake the
review. The housing authorities are required to provide the reviewer with the reasons
for the original decision, and the information on which that decision is based, within
five working days of his or her appointment.
19.18. Any person thus appointed must comply with the procedures set out in regulations 6,
7, 8 and 9. Specifically, he or she must invite written representations from the
applicant and send copies of these to the two housing authorities, inviting them to
respond. The reviewer is also required to notify in writing the two housing authorities
of his or her decision on review and the reasons for it at least a week before the end of
the prescribed period of twelve weeks (or of any extended period agreed by the
applicant). This allows the housing authorities adequate time to notify the applicant of
the decision before expiry of the period.
NOTIFICATION OF DECISION ON REVIEW
19.19. Section 203 requires a housing authority to notify the applicant in writing of their
decision on the review. The authority must also notify the applicant of the reasons for
their decision where it:
i)
confirms the original decision on any issue against the interests of the applicant;
ii) confirms a previous decision to notify another housing authority under s.198; or,
iii) confirms a previous decision that the conditions for referral in s.198 are met in
the applicant’s case.
Where the review is carried out jointly by two housing authorities under s.198(5), or
by a person appointed pursuant to the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order
1998 
(SI 1998 No.1578), the notification may be made by either of the two housing
authorities concerned.
At this stage, the authority making the notification should advise the applicant of his
or her right to appeal to the County Court against a review decision under s.204 and
of the period in which to appeal.
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POWERS TO ACCOMMODATE PENDING A REVIEW
19.20. Sections 188(3) and 200(5) give housing authorities powers to secure accommodation
for certain applicants pending the decision on a review. See Chapter 15 for guidance
on powers to secure accommodation.
APPEALS TO THE COUNTY COURT
19.21. Section 204 provides an applicant with the right of appeal on a point of law to the
County Court if:
(a) he or she is dissatisfied with the decision on a review; or
(b) he or she is not notified of the decision on the review within the time prescribed
in regulations made under s.203.
In the latter case, an applicant will be entitled to appeal against the original decision.
19.22. An appeal must be brought by an applicant within 21 days of:
(a) the date on which he or she is notified of the decision on review; or
(b) the date on which he or she should have been notified (i.e. the date marking the
end of the period for the review prescribed in the regulations, or any extended
period agreed in writing by the applicant).
19.23. The court may give permission for an appeal to be brought after 21 days, but only
where it is satisfied that:
(a) (where permission is sought within the 21-day period), there is good reason for
the applicant to be unable to bring the appeal in time; or
(b) (where permission is sought after the 21-day period has expired), there was a good
reason for the applicant’s failure to bring the appeal in time and for any delay in
applying for permission.
19.24. On an appeal, the County Court is empowered to make an order confirming, quashing
or varying the housing authority’s decision as it thinks fit. It is important, therefore,
that housing authorities have in place review procedures that are robust, fair, and
transparent.
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POWER TO ACCOMMODATE PENDING AN APPEAL TO THE
COUNTY COURT

19.25. Section 204(4) gives housing authorities the power to accommodate certain applicants
during the period for making an appeal, and pending the appeal and any subsequent
appeal. Applicants have a right to appeal against a housing authority’s decision not to
secure accommodation for them pending an appeal to the County Court (s.204A).
Applicants can also appeal against a housing authority’s decision to secure
accommodation for them for only a limited period which ends before final
determination of the appeal. See Chapter 15 for guidance on powers to secure
accommodation.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN 
19.26. Applicants may complain to a Local Government Ombudsman if they consider that
they have been caused injustice as a result of maladministration by a housing
authority. The Ombudsman may investigate the way a decision has been made, but
may not question the merits of a decision properly reached. For example,
maladministration would occur where a housing authority:
i)
took too long to do something;
ii) did not follow their own rules or the law;
iii) broke their promises;
iv) treated the applicant unfairly;
v) gave the applicant the wrong information.
19.27. There are some matters an Ombudsman cannot investigate. These include:
i)
matters the applicant knew about more than twelve months before he or she wrote
to the Ombudsman or to a councillor, unless the Ombudsman considers it
reasonable to investigate despite the delay;
ii) matters about which the applicant has already taken court action against the
housing authority, for example, an appeal to the County Court under s.204;
iii) matters about which the applicant could go to court, unless the Ombudsman
considers there are good reasons why the applicant could not reasonably be
expected to do so.
19.28. Where there is a right of review the Ombudsman would expect an applicant to pursue
the right before making a complaint. If there is any doubt about whether the
Ombudsman can look into a complaint, the applicant should seek advice from the
Ombudsman’s office.
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CHAPTER 20: PROTECTION OF PERSONAL
PROPERTY
20.1. This chapter provides guidance on the duty and powers housing authorities have
to protect the personal property of an applicant.
20.2. Under s.211(1) and (2), where a housing authority has become subject to a duty to an
applicant under specified provisions of Part 7 and it has reason to believe that:
i)
there is a danger of loss of, or damage to, the applicant’s personal property
because the applicant is unable to protect it or deal with it, and
ii) no other suitable arrangements have been, or are being, made,
then, whether or not the housing authority is still subject to such a duty, it must take
reasonable steps to prevent the loss of, or to prevent or mitigate damage to, any
personal property of the applicant.
20.3. The specified provisions are:
• s.188 (interim duty to accommodate);
• s.190, s.193 or s.195 (duties to persons found to be homeless or threatened with
homelessness); or
• s.200 (duties to applicant whose case is considered for referral or referred).
20.4. In all other circumstances, housing authorities have a power to take any steps they
consider reasonable to protect in the same ways an applicant’s personal property
(s.211(3)).
20.5. Section 212 makes provisions supplementing s.211. For the purposes of both s.211
and s.212, the personal property of an applicant includes the personal property of any
person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him or her (s.211(5) and
s.212(6)).
20.6. A danger of loss or damage to personal property means that there is a likelihood of
harm, not just that harm is a possibility. Applicants may be unable to protect their
property if, for example, they are ill or are unable to afford to have it stored
themselves.
20.7. Under s.212(1), in order to protect an applicant’s personal property, a housing
authority can enter, at all reasonable times, the applicant’s current or former home,
and deal with the property in any way which seems reasonably necessary. In
particular, it may store the property or arrange for it to be stored; this may be
particularly appropriate where the applicant is accommodated by the housing authority
in furnished accommodation for a period. In some cases, where the applicant’s
previous home is not to be occupied immediately, it may be possible for the property
to remain there, if it can be adequately protected.
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20.8. Where a housing authority does take steps to protect personal property, whether by
storing it or otherwise, it must take reasonable care of it and deliver it to the owner
when reasonably requested to do so.
20.9. The applicant can request the housing authority to move his or her property to a
particular location. If the housing authority considers that the request is reasonable,
they may discharge their responsibilities under s.211 by doing as the applicant asks.
Where such a request is met, the housing authority will have no further duty or power
to protect the applicant’s property, and it must inform the applicant of this
consequence before complying with the request (s.212(2)).
20.10. Housing authorities may impose conditions on the assistance they provide where they
consider these appropriate to the particular case. Conditions may include making a
reasonable charge for storage of property and reserving the right to dispose of
property in certain circumstances specified by the housing authority – e.g. if the
applicant loses touch with them and cannot be traced after a certain period (s.211(4)).
20.11. Where a request to move personal property to another location is either not made or
not carried out, the duty or power to take any action under s.211 ends when the
housing authority believes there is no longer any danger of loss or damage to the
property because of the applicant’s inability to deal with or protect it (s.212(3)). This
may be the case, for example, where an applicant recovers from illness or finds
accommodation where he or she is able to place his or her possessions, or becomes
able to afford the storage costs him/herself. However, where the housing authority has
discharged the duty under s.211 by placing property in storage, it has a discretionary
power to continue to keep the property in storage. Where it does so, any conditions
imposed by the housing authority continue to apply and may be modified as necessary.
20.12. Where the housing authority ceases to be under a duty, or ceases to have a power, to
protect an applicant’s personal property under s.211, it must notify the applicant of
this and give the reasons for it. The notification must be delivered to the applicant or
sent to his or her last known address (s.212(5)).
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
160

CHAPTER 21: CONTRACTING OUT HOMELESSNESS
FUNCTIONS
21.1. This chapter provides guidance on contracting out homelessness functions and
housing authorities’ statutory obligations with regard to the discharge of those
functions.

21.2. The Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Allocation of Housing and Homelessness
Functions) Order 1996 (SI 1996 No. 3215) (“the Order”) enables housing authorities
to contract out certain functions under Parts 6 and 7 of the 1996 Act. The Order is
made under s.70 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 (“the 1994 Act”).
In essence, the Order allows the contracting out of executive functions while leaving
the responsibility for making strategic decisions with the housing authority.
21.3. The Order provides that the majority of functions under Part 7 can be contracted out.
These include:
• making arrangements to secure that advice and information about homelessness,
and the prevention of homelessness, is available free of charge within the housing
authority’s district;
• making inquiries about and deciding a person’s eligibility for assistance;
• making inquiries about and deciding whether any duty, and, if so, what duty is
owed to a person under Part 7;
• making referrals to another housing authority;
• carrying out reviews of decisions;
• securing accommodation to discharge homelessness duties.
21.4. Where decision-making in homelessness cases is contracted out, authorities may wish
to consider retaining the review function under s.202 of the 1996 Act. This may
provide an additional degree of independence between the initial decision and the
decision on review.
21.5. The 1994 Act provides that a contract made:
i)
may authorise a contractor to carry out only part of the function concerned;
ii) may specify that the contractor is authorised to carry out functions only in certain
cases or areas specified in the contract;
iii) may include conditions relating to the carrying out of the functions, e.g.
prescribing standards of performance;
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iv) shall be for a period not exceeding 10 years and may be revoked at any time by
the Minister or the housing authority. Any subsisting contract is to be treated as
having been repudiated in these circumstances;
v) shall not prevent the housing authority from exercising themselves the functions to
which the contract relates.
21.6. Schedule 2 to the Order lists the homelessness functions in Part 7 that may not be
contracted out. These are:
• s.179(2) and (3): the provision of various forms of assistance to anyone providing
advice and information about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness to
people in the district, on behalf of the housing authority;
• s.180: the provision of assistance to voluntary organisations concerned with
homelessness; and
• s.213: co-operation with relevant housing authorities and bodies by rendering
assistance in the discharge of their homelessness functions.
21.7. Local authorities also cannot contract out their functions under the Homelessness Act
2002 which relate to homelessness reviews and strategies. Chapter 1 provides
guidance on homelessness reviews and strategies and outlines the main functions.
These include:
• s.1(1): carry out a homelessness review for the district, and formulate and publish a
homelessness strategy based on the results of that review;
• s.1(4): publish a new homelessness strategy within 5 years from the day on which
their last homelessness strategy was published; and
• 3(6): keep their homelessness strategy under review and modify it from time
to time.
Reviews and the formulation of strategies can, however, be informed by research
commissioned from external organisations.
21.8. The 1994 Act also provides that the housing authority is responsible for any act or
omission of the contractor in exercising functions under the contract, except:
i)
where the contractor fails to fulfil conditions specified in the contract relating to
the exercise of the function; or,
ii) where criminal proceedings are brought in respect of the contractor’s act or
omission.
21.9. Where there is an arrangement in force under s.101 of the Local Government Act 1972
by virtue of which one local authority exercises the functions of another, the 1994 Act
provides that the authority exercising the function is not allowed to contract it out
without the principal authority’s consent.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
162

21.10. Where a housing authority has contracted out the operation of any homelessness
functions the authority remains statutorily responsible and accountable for the
discharge of those functions. 
This is the case whether a housing authority contracts
with a Large Scale Voluntary Transfer registered social landlord, an Arms Length
Management Organisation or any other organisation. The authority will therefore need
to ensure that the contract provides for delivery of the homelessness functions in
accordance with both the statutory obligations and the authority’s own policies on
tackling and preventing homelessness. The performance of a housing authority’s
homelessness functions will continue to be part of its Comprehensive Performance
Assessment and will need to be covered by Best Value reviews, whether or not it
discharges the homelessness functions directly.
21.11. When contracting out homelessness functions, housing authorities will need to
ensure that:
• proposed arrangements are consistent with their obligations under the 2002 Act to
have a strategy for preventing homelessness and ensuring that accommodation and
any necessary support will be available to everyone in their district who is
homeless or at risk of homelessness;
• a high quality homelessness service will be provided, in particular the assessment
of applicants and the provision of advice and assistance; and
• both short-term and settled accommodation services will be available for offer to
all applicants owed the main homelessness duty.
21.12. Housing authorities should also ensure they have adequate contractual, monitoring and
quality assurance mechanisms in place to ensure their statutory duties are being fully
discharged.
21.13. In deciding whether to contract out homelessness functions, housing authorities are
encouraged to undertake an options appraisal of each function to decide whether it
would best be provided in-house or by another organisation. Housing Allocation,
Homelessness and Stock Transfer – A guide to key issues (ODPM 2004) 
provides
guidance on the key issues that housing authorities need to consider when deciding
whether to retain or contract out the delivery of their homelessness functions.
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ANNEX 1
GOOD PRACTICE/GUIDANCE PUBLICATIONS
DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Homelessness prevention: a guide to good practice (2006)
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
Homelessness publications
www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1162505
Sustainable Communities: settled homes, changing lives. A strategy for tackling 
homelessness 
(2005)
Tackling homelessness amongst ethnic minority households – a development guide (2005)
Resources for homeless ex-service personnel in London (2004)
Effective Co-operation in Tackling Homelessness: Nomination Agreements and 
Exclusions 
(2004)
Achieving Positive Shared Outcomes in Health and Homelessness (2004)
Local Authorities’ Homelessness Strategies: Evaluation and Good Practice (2004)
Reducing B&B use and tackling homelessness – What’s working: A Good Practice 
Handbook 
(2003)
Housing Associations and Homelessness Briefing (2003)
Achieving Positive Outcomes on Homelessness – A Homelessness Directorate Advice Note to
Local Authorities 
(2003)
Addressing the health needs of rough sleepers (2002)
Care leaving strategies – a good practice handbook (2002)
Drugs services for homeless people – a good practice handbook (2002)
Homelessness Strategies: A Good Practice Handbook (2002)
More than a roof: a report into tackling homelessness (2002)
Helping rough sleepers off the streets: A report to the Homelessness Directorate – Randall, G
and Brown, S. (2002)
Preventing tomorrow’s rough sleepers – Rough Sleepers Unit (2001)
Blocking the fast track from prison to rough sleeping – Rough Sleepers Unit (2000)
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 164

Homelessness and Housing Support Directorate Policy Briefings
Briefing 15: Summary of Homelessness Good Practice Guidance (June 2006)
Briefing 14: Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing lives – one year on 
(March 2006)
Briefing 13: Survey of English local authorities about homelessness (December 2005)
Briefing 12: Hostels Capital Improvement Programme (HCIP) (September 2005)
Briefing 11: Providing More Settled Homes (June 2005)
Briefing 10: Delivering on the Positive Outcomes (December 2004)
Briefing 9: Homelessness Strategies: Moving Forward (November 2004)
Briefing 8: Improving the Quality of Hostels and Other Forms of Temporary 
Accommodation 
(June 2004)
Briefing 7: Addressing the Health Needs of Homeless People Policy (April 2004)
Briefing 6: Repeat Homelessness Policy (January 2004)
Briefing 5: Improving Employment Options for Homeless People (September 2003)
Briefing 4: Prevention of Homelessness Policy (June 2003)
Briefing 3: Bed and Breakfast Policy (March 2003)
Briefing 2: Domestic Violence Policy (December 2002)
Briefing 1: Ethnicity and Homelessness Policy (September 2002)
Supporting People publications
www.spkweb.org.uk
Supporting People: Guide to Accommodation and Support Options for People with Mental
Health Problems 
(2005)
Guide to Housing and Housing Related Support Options for Offenders and People at Risk of
Offending 
(2005)
Supporting People: Guide to Accommodation and Support Options for Homeless 
Households 
(2003)
Supporting People: The Support Needs of Homeless Households (2003)
Supporting People: Guide to Accommodation and Support Options for Households
Experiencing Domestic Violence 
(2002)
Reflecting the Needs and Concerns of Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in Supporting
People 
(2002)
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Other ODPM publications
www.communities.gov.uk
Sustainable Communities: Homes for All. A Five Year Plan (2005)
Improving the Effectiveness of Rent Arrears Management (2005)
Housing Allocation, Homelessness and Stock Transfer – A guide to key issues (2004)
Guidance on Arms Length Management of Local Authority Housing (2004)
Allocation of Accommodation – Code of Guidance for local housing authorities (2002)
Working together, Connexions and youth homelessness agencies, London, Department for
Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) and Connexions (2001)
Other Government publications
Audit Commission
www.audit-commission.gov.uk
Homelessness: Responding to the New Agenda (2003)
ALMO Inspections. The Delivery of Excellent Housing Management Services (2003)
Housing Services After Stock Transfer (2002)
Department for Education and Skills
www.dfes.gov.uk
Safeguarding Children, The second joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on arrangements to
Safeguard Children, 
Commission for Social Care Inspection (2005)
Every Child Matters: Change for Children (2004)
Working with Voluntary and Community Organisations to Deliver Change for Children and
Young People 
(2004)
Department of Health
www.dh.gov.uk/Home/fs/en
Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community (2006)
Working together to safeguard children (2005)
Government response to Hidden Harm: the Report of an inquiry by the Advisory Council on
the Misuse of Drugs 
(2005)
Making a Difference: Reducing Bureaucracy in Children, Young People and Family 
Services 
(2005)
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 166

Independence, well-being and choice: Our vision for the future of social care for adults in
England 
(2005)
Commissioning a patient-led NHS (2005)
Health reform in England: update and next steps (2005)
National service framework for mental health: modern standards and service models (1999)
National service framework for children, young people and maternity services (2004)
From Vision to Reality: Transforming Outcomes for Children and Families (2004)
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2003)
Tackling Health Inequalities: a programme for action (2003)
Guidance on accommodating children in need and their families – Local Authority 
Circular 13 
(2003)
Children Missing from Care and Home – a guide for good practice published in tandem with
the Social Exclusion Unit’s report Young Runaways (2002)
Getting it Right: good practice in leaving care resource pack (2000)
The framework for assessment of children in need and their families (2000)
Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century (2000)
Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to interagency working to safeguard and
promote the welfare of children 
(1999) Department of Health, Home Office and Department
for Education and Employment
Home Office
www.homeoffice.gov.uk
Advice note on accommodation for vulnerable young people (2001)
Housing Corporation
www.housingcorp.gov.uk
Tenancy management: eligibility and evictions (2004)
Local Authority NominationsCircular 02/03/Regulation (2003)
Non-Government publications
Centrepoint
www.centrepoint.org.uk
Joint protocols between housing and social services departments: a good practice guide for
the assessment and assistance of homeless young people aged 16 and 17 years
, Bellerby,
N. London (2000)
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Chartered Institute of Housing
www.cih.org
The Housing Manual (2005)
Housing and Support Services for asylum seekers and refugees: a good practice guide, John
Perry (2005)
Strategic Approaches to Homelessness; Good Practice Briefing 24 (2002)
Commission for Racial Equality
www.cre.gov.uk
CRE Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing (2006)
Disability Rights Commission
www.drc-gb.org/
The Duty to Promote Disability Equality: Statutory Code of Practice (2005)
National Housing Federation
www.housing.org.uk
Level threshold: towards equality in housing for disabled people: good practice guide (2005)
Flexible allocation and local letting schemes (2000)
Homeless Link
www.homeless.org.uk
Hospital admission and discharge: Guidelines for writing a protocol for the hospital
admission and discharge of people who are homeless 
(2006)
Shelter
http://england.shelter.org.uk/home/index.cfm
Sexual exclusion: issues and best practice in lesbian, gay and bisexual housing and
homelessness 
(2005)
Youth housing: a good practice guide (2004)
Local authorities and registered social landlords – best practice on joint working (2002)
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 168

ANNEX 2
OTHER STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMMES THAT MAY ADDRESS
HOMELESSNESS

• Local and Regional Housing Strategy
• Regional Homelessness Strategy
• Regional Economic Development Plan
• Local Strategic Partnership and Community Strategy
• Local Area Agreements
• Supporting People Strategy
• Children and Young People’s Plan
• Sure Start
• Connexions
• Education and Employment programmes (e.g. The Princes Trust, New Deal, 
The Careers Service)
• Progress2work, for drug misusers, and where available, Progress2work-LinkUp for alcohol
misusers, offenders and homeless people
• Local health schools programme
• Quality Protects
• NHS Local Delivery Plan
• Teenage Pregnancy Strategy
• Drug Action Team Plan
• Crime and Disorder Strategy
• Regional Reducing Reoffending Strategy
• Domestic Violence Strategy
• Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy
• Anti-Poverty Strategy
• Social Inclusion Strategy
• Valuing People Plan
• Town Centre Management Strategy
• Voluntary and community sector plans
• Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Strategy (where required by s. 225 Housing 
Act 2004)
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ANNEX 3
OTHER AUTHORITES, ORGANISATIONS AND PERSONS WHOSE
ACTIVITIES MAY CONTRIBUTE TO PREVENTING/TACKLING
HOMELESSNESS

• Registered social landlords
• Private landlords
• Lettings agencies
• Self build groups
• Housing Co-operatives
• Housing Corporation
• Supported housing providers
• Home improvement agencies
• Primary Care Trusts, health centres and GP practices
• NHS Trusts – Acute and Mental Health
• Local mental health organisations (e.g. Mind)
• Local disability groups
• Care Services Improvement Partnership Regional Development Centres
• Learning Disability Partnership Boards
• Children’s Trusts
• Youth Services and youth advice groups
• Education Welfare Services
• LEA Pupil Referral Units
• Schools
• Sure Start
• Connexions
• Youth Offending Team
• Police
• Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
• Drug Action Teams
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 170

• National Offender Management Service (incorporating The Prison and Probation
Services)
• Victim support groups
• Anti-Social Behaviour Team
• Street Wardens
• Jobcentre Plus
• Learning and Skills Councils
• Environmental Health Team
• Housing Management Team
• Housing Benefits Team
• Armed Forces resettlement services
• National Asylum Support Service
• Refugee Community Organisations
• Law Centres
• Advice/advocacy services (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureaux and Shelter)
• Local voluntary sector infrastructure bodies (e.g. CVS)
• Faith groups
• Women’s groups
• Local domestic violence fora
• Ethnic minority groups
• Age groups (e.g. Age Concern, Help the Aged)
• Lesbian, gay and bisexual groups
• Emergency accommodation providers (such as the Salvation Army)
• Day centres for homeless people
• Refuges
• The Samaritans
• Mediation Services
• Local Strategic Partnerships
• Local businesses/Chambers of Commerce
• Regional Housing Board
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• Regional planning bodies
• People living in insecure accommodation (and their representative bodies)
• Rough sleepers (and their representative bodies)
• Residents/tenants organisations
• Self help/user groups
• Services supporting sex workers
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 172

ANNEX 4
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS FOR LOCAL
AUTHORITIES THAT MIGHT BE INCLUDED IN A
HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY

This Annex provides suggestions for objectives and actions that local authorities may
wish to consider including in their homelessness strategies.

HOUSING AUTHORITY
• Facilitate the effective co-ordination of all service providers, across all sectors in the
district, whose activities contribute to preventing homelessness and/or meeting the
accommodation and support needs of people who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness (objective).

– establish a homelessness forum to co-ordinate the activities of all the key players, across
all sectors, who are contributing to meeting the aims of the homelessness strategy.
– ensure the homelessness strategy is consistent with other relevant local plans and
strategies and that all relevant stakeholders are aware of how they work together.
• Ensure that people who are at risk of homelessness are aware of, and have access to,
the services they may need to help them prevent homelessness (objective).
– provide comprehensive advice and information about homelessness and the prevention
of homelessness, free to everyone in the district.
– provide mediation and reconciliation services (e.g. to tackle neighbour disputes and
family relationship breakdown).
– implement an effective tenancy relations service (and good liaison with private
landlords).
• Ensure that the supply of accommodation, including affordable accommodation, in
the district reflects estimated housing need (objective).
– in conjunction with RSLs operating in the district, maximise the number of social
lettings available for people who have experienced homelessness or at risk of
homelessness, consistent with the need to meet the reasonable aspirations of other
groups in housing need.
– ensure that provision of specialised and supported accommodation for people who have
experienced homelessness or at risk of homelessness (e.g. refuges and wet hostels)
reflects estimated need.
– maximise the provision of affordable housing through planning requirements for new
private developments.
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

• Work with the social services authority to ensure that the needs of clients who have
both housing and social services support needs are fully assessed and taken into
account (objective)

– develop a framework for effective joint working with the social services authority,
including screening procedures to identify at an early stage where there is a need for
case specific joint working.
– put in place arrangements for carrying out joint assessments of people with support
needs who are homeless or have experienced homelessness.
– establish a protocol for the referral of clients and the sharing information between
services.
SOCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
• Work with the housing authority to ensure that the needs of clients who have both
housing and social services support needs are fully assessed and taken into account
(objective)

– develop a framework for effective joint working with the housing authority, including
screening procedures, to identify at an early stage where there is a need for case
specific joint working.
– put in place arrangements for carrying out joint assessments of people with support
needs who are homeless or have experienced homelessness.
– establish a protocol for the referral of clients and the sharing information between
services.
• Ensure that, subject to relevant eligibility criteria, vulnerable people who are
homeless, or at risk of homelessness, receive the support they need to help them
sustain a home and prevent homelessness recurring (objective).

– provide a reconciliation service for young people estranged from their families.
– exercise powers under the Children Act 1989 to make payments to assist young people
who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to sustain/find accommodation.
– operate a supported lodgings scheme for homeless 16 and 17 year olds who need a
supportive environment.
– provide assistance to enable families with children who have become homeless
intentionally (or are ineligible for housing assistance) to secure accommodation for
themselves (e.g. financial assistance with rent deposit/guarantees).
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 174

ANNEX 5
CO-OPERATION BETWEEN REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS
AND HOUSING AUTHORITIES

HOUSING: THE STRATEGIC CONTEXT
1.
Housing authorities have a statutory obligation to consider the housing needs of their
district (s.8 Housing Act 1985). Under the Homelessness Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”),
they also have a statutory duty to formulate a strategy for preventing homelessness
and ensuring that accommodation and support are available for people who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness in their district. A homelessness strategy may
include actions which the authority expects to be taken by various other organisations,
with their agreement.
2.
Most social housing is provided by housing authorities and by Registered Social
Landlords (RSLs). Virtually all provision of new social housing is delivered through
RSLs and, under the transfer programme, ownership of a significant proportion of
housing authority stock is being transferred from housing authorities to RSLs, subject
to tenants’ agreement. This means that, increasingly, RSLs will become the main
providers of social housing. Consequently, it is essential that housing authorities work
closely with RSLs, as well as all other housing providers, in order to meet the housing
needs in their district and ensure that the aims and objectives of their homelessness
strategy are achieved.
STATUTORY FRAMEWORK FOR CO-OPERATION
3.
Section 170 of the Housing Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”) provides that where an RSL has
been requested by a housing authority to offer accommodation to people with priority
under its allocation scheme, the RSL must co-operate to such extent as is reasonable
in the circumstances. Similarly, s.213 provides that where an RSL has been requested
by a housing authority to assist them in the discharge of their homelessness functions
under Part 7, it must also co-operate to the same extent. Section 3 of the 2002 Act
requires housing authorities to consult appropriate bodies and organisations before
publishing a homelessness strategy, and this will inevitably need to include RSLs.
HOUSING CORPORATION REGULATORY GUIDANCE
4.
RSLs are regulated by the Housing Corporation which, under s.36 of the 1996 Act,
and with the approval of the Secretary of State, has issued guidance to RSLs with
respect to their management of housing accommodation. The Housing Corporation’s
Regulatory Code and guidance requires housing associations to work with local
authorities to enable them to fulfil their statutory duties to, among others, homeless
people and people who have priority for an allocation of housing. In particular, RSLs
must ensure that:
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• their lettings policies are flexible, non-discriminatory and responsive to demand
while contributing to inclusivity and sustainable communities;
• they can demonstrate their co-operation with local authorities on homelessness
reviews, homelessness strategies and the delivery of authorities’ homelessness
functions;
• when requested, and to such extent as is reasonable in the circumstances, they
provide a proportion of their stock (at least 50% – see paragraph 9 below) to
housing authority nominations and as temporary accommodation for people owed a
homelessness duty;
• following consultation with local authorities, criteria are adopted for accepting or
rejecting nominees and other applicants for housing;
• applicants are excluded from consideration for housing only if their unacceptable
behaviour is serious enough to make them unsuitable to be a tenant; and
• their lettings policies are responsive to authorities’ housing duties, take account of
the need to give reasonable priority to transfer applicants, are responsive to
national, regional and local mobility and exchange schemes, and are demonstrably
fair and effectively controlled.
5.
Therefore, the overriding requirement for RSLs in relation to homelessness is to
demonstrate that they are co-operating with local authorities to enable them to fulfil
their statutory duties.
CO-OPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
6.
Housing authorities need to draw on these regulatory requirements to form
constructive partnerships with RSLs. It is also recommended that authorities refer to
the strategic document “A Framework for Partnership” published jointly by the Local
Government Association, the National Housing Federation and the Housing
Corporation and available at www.lga.gov.uk/Documents/Briefing/framework.pdf
7.
Where RSLs participate in choice-based lettings schemes, the Corporation will expect
any protocols for joint working with housing authorities to make proper provision to
meet the needs of vulnerable groups, and ensure that support is available to enable
tenants and applicants to exercise choice. Housing authorities should involve RSLs in
the implementation of choice-based lettings schemes at an early stage.
NOMINATION AGREEMENTS
8.
Whilst legislation provides the framework for co-operation between housing
authorities and RSLs, nomination agreements set out the way in which this co-
operation is given effect. It is crucial that a housing authority has a comprehensive
nomination agreement with each of its partner RSLs to ensure that both sides know
what is expected of them. The need for a robust nomination agreement applies in all
circumstances, but will be particularly important where the housing authority has
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 176

transferred ownership of its housing stock and is reliant on the transfer RSL (and any
other partner RSLs) to provide housing for their applicants. ODPM guidance on
Housing Allocation, Homelessness and Stock Transfer – A Guide to Key Issues (2004)
sets out the policy and operational matters which the nomination agreement between
the housing authority and their transfer RSL should cover.
9.
RSLs are required to offer at least 50% of vacancies in their stock (net of internal
transfers) to housing authority nominations, unless some lower figure is agreed
between the two bodies1. In some circumstances, they may agree a substantially higher
figure. However, housing authorities should bear in mind that RSLs are required to
retain their independence. They must honour their constitutional obligations under
their diverse governing instruments, and will make the final decision on the allocation
of their housing, within their regulatory framework.
10.
Where requested by a housing authority, RSLs should consider the possible use of a
proportion of their own stock to provide temporary accommodation for people owed a
homelessness duty under Part 7 of the 1996 Act. This may be necessary in some areas,
particularly those where demand for housing is very high and there is a significant
number of homeless families with children who need to be placed in temporary
accommodation. RSLs and housing authorities will have joint responsibility for
determining the appropriate use of settled housing stock for temporary lettings, taking
into account that such use will reduce the volume of RSL housing stock available for
nominations into long-term tenancies. Housing authorities should ensure that their
partnerships take maximum advantage of the flexibility that such arrangements can
provide. The Secretary of State expects that, wherever possible, social housing should
be allocated on a settled basis rather than used to provide temporary accommodation
in the medium to long term. Where medium to long term accommodation is required,
the authority and RSL should consider whether it is possible to offer a secure or an
assured tenancy under the terms of the authority’s allocations scheme.
11.
Housing authorities should ensure that the details of nominated households given to
RSLs are accurate and comprehensive. Details should include information about the
applicant’s priority status under the housing authority’s policy, as well as indications of
vulnerability, support needs and arrangements for support.
12.
The Corporation expects that RSLs’ approach to exclusions and evictions will
generally reflect the principles to which housing authorities work. Housing
Corporation Circular 07/04 Tenancy management: eligibility and evictions sets out the
Corporation’s expectations of RSLs when assessing the eligibility of applicants and
when working to prevent or respond to breaches of tenancy.
1
Housing Corporation Regulatory Circular, 02/03 Regulation, February 2003.
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EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION
13.
It is important that housing authorities foster good partnership working with RSLs, to
help them prevent and tackle homelessness in the district. The housing management
and care and support approaches undertaken by RSLs are key to sustaining tenancies,
reducing evictions and abandonment, and preventing homelessness. To ensure
effective collaboration between themselves and partner RSLs operating in their
district, housing authorities should consider the following: 
nominations agreements: housing authorities should ensure that they have a formal
nominations agreement with all partner RSLs and that there are robust arrangements
in place to monitor effective delivery of the terms of the agreement. These should be
clearly set out, and should include the proportion of lettings that will be made
available, any conditions that will apply, and how any disputes about suitability or
eligibility will be resolved. Housing authorities should negotiate for the maximum
number of lettings that will be required to enable them to discharge their housing
functions and which would be reasonable for the RSL to deliver. 
exclusion criteria: when negotiating nominations agreements housing authorities
should aim for any exclusion criteria (that may be applied to nominees by the RSL) to
be kept to a minimum. To prevent new tenancies from failing and to minimise the
likelihood of exclusion, housing authorities should also ensure that adequate support
packages are in place for vulnerable applicants before a nominee is expected to take
up their tenancy.
eviction policies: to help prevent homelessness, housing authorities should encourage
RSLs to seek to minimise any need for eviction of their tenants by employing
preventative strategies and taking early positive action where breaches of tenancy
agreement have occurred. Associations should act to support and sustain, rather than
terminate, a tenancy.
In cases involving anti-social behaviour eviction should, where possible, be used as a
last resort, although in particularly serious cases or where perpetrators refuse to co-
operate it may be necessary. A number of measures have been introduced which may
be used to tackle anti-social behaviour without removing the perpetrator from their
home and moving the problem to somewhere else. These include Acceptable
Behaviour Contracts, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, housing injunctions and
demotion. Further information on the tools and powers available to tackle anti-social
behaviour can be found on the TOGETHER website, a resource for practitioners
working to tackle anti-social behaviour (www.together.gov.uk).
Similarly, in cases involving rent arrears eviction should, where possible, be used as a
last resort. RSLs should employ strategies to maximise their income and to prevent
and manage rent arrears. Where arrears have accrued they should seek early
intervention through personal contact with the tenant(s) offering support and advice.
They should offer practical ways for recovering the arrears through debt management
plans, referrals to debt advice agencies and ensuring that tenants are claiming all the
benefits to which they are entitled. ODPM published guidance for local authorities
and RSLs on Improving the Effectiveness of Rent Arrears Management (June 2005).
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 178

Supporting People programme: housing authorities should ensure they work closely
with RSLs in implementing the Supporting People programme to ensure that housing-
related support can be delivered, where appropriate, for people who would be at risk
of homelessness without such support.
mobility: housing authorities should work with RSLs in considering the scope for
mobility – including moves to other areas, moves to other tenures, and joint action to
reduce under-occupation and over-crowding – in meeting housing need and reducing
homelessness. Larger RSLs, which operate in a number of different areas, may be
uniquely placed to facilitate cross-boundary moves, including voluntary moves from
high demand areas to areas of lower demand.
ODPM, in conjunction with the Housing Corporation, National Housing Federation
and Local Government Association, published a good practice guide for local
authorities and housing associations on Effective Co-operation in Tackling
Homelessness: Nomination Agreements and Exclusions (2004).

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ANNEX 6
HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY: SPECIFIC ACTION THAT MIGHT
BE EXPECTED TO BE TAKEN BY OTHERS

PUBLIC SECTOR
Registered social landlords
• ensure allocation policies meet the needs of people accepted as homeless including
specialist provision for vulnerable groups, e.g. drug misusers;
• ensure allocation policies are inclusive, defensible and do not operate ‘blanket bans’ for
particular groups;
• ensure arrears policies take into account the aims of the homelessness strategy (and
facilitate early access to money and housing advice).
Primary Care Trusts
• develop health services for homeless people, (e.g. Personal Medical Service pilots, walk-in
centres, GP service that visits hostels and day centres);
• ensure access to primary health care for all homeless people including rough sleepers and
those using emergency access accommodation;
• liaise with social services and special needs housing providers to ensure access to
dependency and multiple needs services where needed;
• ensure that hospital discharge policies and protocols are developed and put in place for
those leaving hospital who are in housing need;
• ensure access to mental health services, including counselling and therapy where needed.
Children’s Trusts
• ensure children’s services and housing strategies are integrated to achieve better outcomes
for children.
Youth and Community Services
• develop peer support schemes;
• raise awareness of homelessness issues with young people at risk.
National Offender Management Service
• complete a basic housing needs assessment on entry to custody in all local establishments;
• share information with other agencies on risk of harm, potential homelessness and
vulnerability;
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 180

• develop local protocols regarding dealing with potentially homeless offenders and
information sharing;
• as part of the local Supporting People Commissioning bodies, provide specialist
knowledge to help commission new services for vulnerable offender and victim groups.
Regional Offender Managers
• ensure regional strategic representation of the needs of offenders in custody and the
community.
Community Safety Team/Anti-social Behaviour Team
• develop steps/interventions to reduce anti-social behaviour and therefore reduce the risk of
evictions.
Youth Offending Team
• work with children and young people to prevent their offending, effectively integrate them
and their families within the community and ultimately prevent evictions.
Drug Action Team
• consider the need to commission treatment for homeless people, or whether mainstream
services can be extended to meet their needs;
• develop accommodation options for substance misusers including such provision as Rent
Deposit Schemes;
• develop, in collaboration with Supporting People teams, specialist housing provision for
substance misusers;
• ensure that the children of adults with substance misuse problems are taken into account
when planning services.
Jobcentre Plus 
• ensure that clients are helped to find and keep a job;
• ensure that clients claim and receive the benefits they are entitled to.
Connexions Service
• provide advice and information on housing and related benefits (or referral to other
agencies where appropriate) to all 13 to 19 year olds who need it;
• ensure vulnerable young people have access to a personal adviser with the aim of
preventing those young people becoming homeless.
National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
• ensure NASS accommodation providers notify local authorities of the planned withdrawal
of NASS accommodation within two days of a positive asylum decision;
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• encourage NASS accommodation providers to help prevent homelessness amongst new
refugees (e.g. via tenancy conversion or delaying evictions);
• ensure that homelessness and housing pressures are taken into account by Regional
Strategic Co-ordination Meetings when decisions are taken on future asylum seeker
dispersal areas.
VOLUNTARY SECTOR
• Provision of a range of services including:
– Rent in advance/deposit bond schemes;
– Night stop schemes;
– Supported lodgings schemes;
– Homelessness awareness/preventative input to schools;
– Advice services (housing/debt/benefits etc.); 
– Counselling, mediation, reconciliation services;
– Provision of floating support;
– Lay advocacy services;
– Dependency services;
– Hospital discharge services;
– Women’s refuges;
– Day Centres;
– Outreach to those sleeping rough;
– Provision of emergency accommodation (e.g. night shelters);
– Hostels;
– Foyers;
– Resettlement services (including pre-tenancy, move-on accommodation and tenancy
sustainment);
– Mental health services;
– Peer support, self-help and user groups;
– Meaningful occupation/personal development work/job training/skills for employment/
work placements;
– Support for parents of young people at risk of homelessness;
– Support for victims of crime.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 182

PRIVATE SECTOR
• provision of hostels;
• making lettings available to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
(e.g. through landlord accreditation schemes);
• working with tenants to address rent arrears.
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ANNEX 7
TACKLING COMMON CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS
1.
This annex provides guidance on how authorities might tackle some of the more
common causes of homelessness at an early stage.
Parents, relatives or friends not being able to provide accommodation
2.
Housing authorities are advised to consider a range of approaches aimed at avoiding
the crisis of homelessness, resolving problems in the long-term or providing respite
and time for a planned, and often more sustainable move. Home visits and mediation
services can play an important role in delaying or preventing homelessness by helping
people find solutions and resolve difficulties.
3.
Family tensions can make living conditions intolerable for young people and their
parents. Housing authorities are advised to work closely with children’s trusts at
strategic level to ensure that housing need and homelessness prevention are included
in the strategic planning process through the Children and Young People’s Plan. They
are also advised to work closely with children’s trusts at delivery level as part of local
multi-agency teams that provide joined up services focusing on improving outcomes
for children and young people. As part of this work, they may consider developing
partnerships with key agencies in the voluntary sector who work with young people at
risk of homelessness. Trained staff and peer mentors can often help young people in
difficult relationships restore some links to their families or supporters, resolve family
conflict or facilitate planned moves into alternative accommodation.
Relationship breakdown
4.
Relationships may often be strained or break down due to periods of separation, e.g.
long-term hospital or drug treatment or because of the behaviour of family members,
e.g. offending or violence. Local authorities should develop systems for assessing
appropriate forms of intervention and the assessment of risks to vulnerable family
members to inform decisions about intervention, e.g. where domestic violence or child
safety is involved.
5.
Local authorities should consider the use of home visits, mediation and counselling
services to help couples and families reconcile their differences or facilitate planned
moves to alternative accommodation.
6.
Housing authorities are advised to consider the provision of specialist advice targeted
at young people at risk of homelessness. Local Connexions services, for example, can
play a key role in reaching vulnerable young people; helping them access information
and advice, providing one-to-one support or brokering appropriate specialist support
from key services such as welfare, health, substance and/or alcohol misuse services,
education and employment. Housing authorities might also consider working with
local schools in order to provide young people with information about the
implications of leaving home and the housing choices available to them.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 184

Domestic violence
7.
As well as being a direct and underlying cause of homelessness, it is becoming
increasingly apparent that domestic violence is a major factor among people who
experience “repeat” homelessness. In many cases, the provision of advice and
outreach services to support people who experience domestic violence before they
reach crisis point, for example on ex-partner rent arrears, tenancy agreements and
property rights, can help to prevent homelessness.
8.
Housing authorities are encouraged to offer people who have experienced domestic
violence a range of accommodation and support options. For some, escaping domestic
violence will involve leaving their home, often as a last resort, and those who have
experienced domestic violence may be placed in a refuge or another form of
appropriate temporary accommodation where necessary. Many people who have
experienced domestic violence would, however, prefer to remain in their own homes
with their social and support networks around them. From 1 April 2005 local
authorities have been strongly encouraged to develop, launch and promote a sanctuary
type scheme in order to meet part of the revised domestic violence Best Value
Performance Indicator 225. The scheme provides security measures to allow those
experiencing domestic violence to remain in their own homes where they choose to do
so, where safety can be assured and where the perpetrator no longer lives within the
accommodation.
9.
It is important that when developing policies, strategies and practice-based
interventions, housing authorities work with all relevant bodies. For example, when
considering the safety, security and confidentiality of people who have experienced
domestic violence and their children, especially those children who may be vulnerable
and/or at risk, housing authorities will need to work with Crime and Disorder
Reduction Partnerships, the Local Domestic Violence Fora and with the Local
Safeguarding Children Board. BVPI 225 encourages further work in this area.
End of an assured shorthold tenancy
10.
The use of home visits, landlord-tenant mediation services and tenancy sustainment
services may enable tenants who have been asked to leave their home to remain with
their existing private landlords, through negotiation, mediation and the offer of
practical solutions, such as clearing a debt, providing the tenant with advice on
managing budgets or fast-tracking a Housing Benefit claim.
11.
Housing authorities should also establish services to provide tenants in housing
difficulties with advice and information about available housing options and, where
necessary, assistance to help them access alternative accommodation. Advice might
include, for example, advice about private landlords and letting agents, including any
accreditation schemes, within the district; the availability of rent guarantee or rent
deposit schemes; or how to apply for social housing through the local authority
housing waiting list or from other social landlords).
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Rent and mortgage arrears
12.
Early intervention by the housing authority could help prevent difficulties with rent or
mortgage arrears from triggering a homelessness crisis for tenants or home owners.
Options might include:
– personal contact with tenants or homeowners to offer support and advice;
– mediation with private landlords;
– welfare benefits advice and assistance with making claims;
– debt counselling and money advice (either in-house or through referrals to
specialist advice agencies);
– advice on practical ways of recovering rent arrears through debt management plans,
attachment to earnings or benefits orders or by referrals to a debt advice agencies.
13.
Many approaches to the prevention and management of rent arrears among tenants
can apply equally whether the landlord is a social sector or a private sector landlord.
ODPM published guidance for local authorities and RSLs on Improving the
Effectiveness of Rent Arrears Management (June 2005)
.
14.
In some cases rent arrears may be the result of an underlying problem such as alcohol
or drug misuse, death of a partner, relationship breakdown, change in employment
status, or physical or mental health problems. In such cases the housing authority may
wish to contact the appropriate health and social services departments and other
relevant agencies for advice, assistance and specialist support. The Secretary of State
considers that housing authorities should always consult the Children’s Trust before
considering the eviction of a family with children. Vital work helping vulnerable
children can be affected if families with children are forced to move out of the local
area. Effective, ongoing liaison arrangements and collaborative working will be
important in such instances.
Housing Benefit administration
15.
Rent arrears can arise from delays in the calculation and payment of housing benefit.
It is therefore in housing authorities’ interests to develop prompt and efficient systems
for the payment of benefit in order to avoid a risk of homelessness arising as a result
of such delays. Where the administration of housing benefit and the provision of
housing assistance are dealt with by different departments of the local authority, it will
be necessary for the authority to ensure that effective liaison arrangements are in
place. Efficient housing benefit payments systems can also help to increase the
confidence of private sector landlords in letting accommodation to tenants who may
rely on benefits to meet their rent costs.
Anti-Social Behaviour and Offending
16.
Tenants may be at risk of becoming homeless as a result of their own or others’ anti-
social or offending behaviour. Housing authorities are urged to contact tenants in these
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 186

circumstances at the earliest possible stage where they have received a complaint or
where it has been brought to their attention that a tenant is causing a nuisance or
annoyance. This will enable them to inform such tenants of the possible consequences
of continuing with the reported behaviour and may prevent homelessness resulting in
some instances. Authorities will need to be aware of the need for discretion about the
source of any complaint, particularly where there is concern about threatening or
aggressive behaviour.
17.
In cases where a housing authority is satisfied that there is a substantive complaint of
anti-social behaviour they will need to consider a range of options to address the
problem with the tenant before embarking on action to terminate the tenancy. Housing
authorities are advised, where possible, to use eviction as a last resort, although in
particularly serious cases or where perpetrators refuse to co-operate it may be
necessary.
18.
Mediation services may help to resolve neighbour disputes which have led to
complaints of anti-social behaviour. A number of measures have been introduced
which may be used to tackle anti-social behaviour without removing the perpetrator
from their home and simply moving the problem somewhere else. These include:
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, housing injunctions
and demotion. Further information can be found on the TOGETHER website, a
resource for practitioners working to tackle anti-social behaviour
(www.together.gov.uk).
19.
Where local authority tenants are at risk of homelessness as a result of other tenants’
anti-social behaviour, authorities should be aware of the powers they have to take
action against the perpetrators and make urgent housing transfers to protect victims of
violence or harassment, where requested.
20.
Housing authorities will need to work closely with the National Offender Management
Service (NOMS) and their partners in the voluntary and community sector to manage
the housing arrangements of offenders in the community, and ensure they receive any
support necessary to avoid a risk of homelessness. Where an authority may be
considering the eviction of an offender, it will need to consult closely with NOMS to
ensure this can be avoided wherever possible. This will also help reduce re-offending
and promote community safety.
Leaving an institutional environment
21.
People leaving an institutional environment can be particularly at risk of homelessness
and may seek assistance from the housing authority to obtain accommodation when
they move on. Authorities should have systems in place to ensure that they have
advance notice of such people’s needs for accommodation in such circumstances to
allow them to take steps well in advance to ensure that arrangements are in place to
enable a planned and timely move.
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Young people leaving care
22.
It is important that, wherever possible, the housing needs of care leavers are addressed
before they leave care. All care leavers must have a pathway plan prepared by
appropriate staff of the authority responsible for their care, setting out the support they
will be provided with to enable them make a successful transition to a more
independent lifestyle. Making arrangements for accommodation and ensuring that,
where necessary, care leavers are provided with suitable housing support will be an
essential aspect of the pathway plan. Where care leavers may require social housing,
their housing and related support needs should be discussed with the appropriate
agencies. Where necessary, arrangements will need to be made for joint assessment
between social services and housing authorities, as part of a multi-agency assessment
necessary to inform the pathway plan of individual young people.
23.
Consideration of an individual care leaver’s housing needs should take account of their
need for support and reasonable access to places of education, employment, training
and health care. As far as possible, pathway plans should include contingency plans in
the event of any breakdown in the young person’s accommodation arrangements. It is
recommended that housing and social services authorities (and relevant departments
within unitary authorities) develop joint protocols for meeting the needs of care
leavers to ensure that each agency (or department) plays a full role in providing
support to – and building trust with – this client group.
Custody or detention
24.
Around a third of prisoners lose their housing on imprisonment, so it is important that
prisoners receive effective advice and assistance about housing options, either prior to
or when being remanded or sentenced to custody. Assessing an offender’s housing
needs at this point will help to identify those prisoners who may require assistance to
bring to an end, sustain or transfer an existing tenancy, make a claim for Housing
Benefit to meet rent costs while in prison, or to help a prisoner transfer or close down
an existing tenancy appropriately. Local authorities are advised to assist the Prison
Service in providing advice to prisoners and taking action to ensure they can sustain
their accommodation while in custody.
25.
It is recommended that housing advice be made available to offenders throughout the
period of custody or detention to ensure that any housing needs are addressed. It is
important that early planning takes place between prison staff and housing providers
to identify housing options on release, to prevent homelessness and enable them to
make a smooth transition from prison, or remand, to independent living.
26.
All prisoners in local prisons and Category C prisons have access to housing advice.
And, from April 2005 all local prisons have been required to carry out a housing
needs assessment for every new prisoner, including those serving short sentences.
Local authorities are advised to assist the Prison Service in delivering these services.
27.
All Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) now have named accommodation officers. YOTs
can offer both practical support to children, young people and their families and can
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 188

increasingly play a key strategic role in ensuring that young offenders are effectively
resettled through accessing mainstream provision and services.
28.
Joint working between the National Offender Management Service/Youth Offending
Teams and their local housing authorities is essential to help prevent homelessness
amongst offenders, ex-offenders and others who have experience of the criminal
justice system. Options might include:
• having a single contact point within the housing authority to provide housing
advice and assistance for those who have experience of the criminal justice system;
• Probation staff offering information on securing or terminating tenancies prior to
custody;
• running housing advice sessions in local prisons to further enable prisoners to
access advice on housing options prior to their release;
• prisons granting prisoners Release On Temporary Licence to attend housing
interviews with landlords;
• developing tenancy support services for those who have experienced the criminal
justice system.
Armed forces
29.
Members of Her Majesty’s regular naval, military and air forces are generally provided
with accommodation by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but are required to leave this
when they are discharged from the service. The principal responsibility for providing
housing information and advice to Service personnel lies with the armed forces up to
the point of discharge and these services are delivered through the Joint Service
Housing Advice Office (telephone: 01722 436575). Some people, who have served in
the armed forces for a long period, and those who are medically discharged, may be
offered assistance with resettlement by Ministry of Defence (MOD) resettlement staff.
The MOD issues a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Living
Accommodation 
(see examples at Annexes 14 and 15) six months before discharge.
30.
Housing authorities that have a significant number of service personnel stationed in
their area will need to work closely with relevant partners, such as the Joint Service
Housing Advice Office and MOD’s resettlement services, to ascertain likely levels of
need for housing assistance amongst people leaving the forces and plan their services
accordingly. In particular, housing authorities are advised to take advantage of the six-
month period of notice of discharge to ensure that service personnel receive timely
and comprehensive advice on the housing options available to them when they leave
the armed forces. Authorities may also wish to consider creating links with the
employment and business communities to assist people leaving the armed forces to
find work or meaningful occupation, enabling them further to make a successful
transition to independent living in the community.
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31.
The Veterans Agency should be the first point of contact for all former armed forces
personnel who require information about housing issues. The agency provide a free
help line (telephone: 0800 169 2277) which offers former armed forces personnel
advice and signposting to ex-Service benevolent organisations who may be able to
offer assistance with housing matters.
Hospital
32.
Some people who are admitted to hospital – even for a short time – may be in housing
need or at risk of homelessness. And some people who may not be in housing need
when they are admitted may become at risk of losing their home during a protracted
stay in hospital, for example, if they are unable to maintain their rent or mortgage
payments. This can apply, in particular, to people admitted to hospital for mental
health reasons and for whom family, tenancy or mortgage breakdown is an
accompanying factor to the admission to hospital.
33.
Housing authorities are advised to work closely with social services and NHS Trusts
in order to establish good procedures for the discharge of patients, and to ensure that
former patients are not homeless or at risk of homelessness on leaving hospital. This
could involve agreeing joint protocols for hospital admissions and discharge of
patients to ensure that the housing and support needs of inpatients are identified as
early as possible after admission, and that arrangements are put in place to meet the
needs of patients in good time prior to discharge. Measures might include, for
example, setting up a multi-agency discharge team as part of the homelessness
strategy action plan or funding a dedicated post to support patients who may be at risk
of homelessness when discharged from hospital.
34.
Further guidance is provided in Department of Health publications on Achieving
timely simple discharge from hospital: A toolkit for the multi-disciplinary team (2004)
and Discharge from hospital: pathway, process and practice (2003).
Accommodation provided by National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
35.
Asylum seekers who receive leave to remain in the UK must move on from their
NASS accommodation within 28 days of the decision on their case. Former asylum
seekers will therefore have little time to find alternative accommodation and are
unlikely to have had any experience of renting or buying accommodation in the UK,
or experience of related matters such as claiming benefits or arranging essential
services such as gas, water and electricity. These difficulties are likely to be
compounded by the fact that many former asylum seekers may face cultural barriers
such as language.
36.
In order to prevent these factors leading to homelessness amongst former asylum
seekers, housing authorities are advised to develop protocols with NASS
accommodation providers, refugee support services and NASS regional managers to
ensure that, where possible, a planned and timely move to alternative accommodation
or the sustainment of existing accommodation can take place. Housing benefit, rent
deposits, homeless prevention loans and discretionary housing benefit payments can
all help to fund temporary extensions of the NASS notice period or longer-term
tenancy conversion through the establishment of assured shorthold tenancies.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 190

37.
Former asylum seekers will need effective and timely advice on the range of housing
options available. It is vital that housing authorities ensure that this advice and
information can be readily translated into community languages and delivered in
locations accessible to asylum seekers and refugees. Authorities are also advised to
consider whether there may be a need for ongoing resettlement support in order to
maximise the chances of tenancy sustainment. As standard, authorities are advised to
ensure that new refugees are made fully aware of the steps that they need to take to
maintain a UK tenancy.
38.
Authorities may wish to refer to Housing and Support Services for asylum seekers and
refugees: a good practice guide (2005) 
published by the Chartered Institute of
Housing.
Ethnic minority populations
39.
Statistics provided by local authorities show that people from ethnic minority
backgrounds are around three times more likely to be accepted as owed a main
homelessness duty than their White counterparts. This pattern is found across all
regions in England and the reasons are varied and complex. It is therefore critical that
housing authorities and their partner agencies develop comprehensive strategies to
better prevent and respond to homelessness among people from ethnic minority
communities.
40.
ODPM published Tackling homelessness amongst ethnic minority households – a
development guide (2005) 
to assist local authorities and their partner agencies in the
development of inclusive, evidence-based and cost-effective homelessness services for
their local ethnic minority populations.
Drug Users
41.
Drug use can both precede and occur as a result of homelessness. Between half and
three quarters of single homeless people have in the past been problematic drug
misusers. Many have a wide range of support needs, which reinforce each other and
heighten the risk of drug use and homelessness. For those who are engaging in drug
treatment, or have stabilised their use, homelessness increases their chances of relapse
and continued problematic drug use. Housing authorities are advised to work closely
with Drug Action Teams (multi-agency partnerships who co-ordinate the drug strategy
at the local level) to ensure that housing and homelessness strategies are aligned with
DAT treatment plans and Supporting People strategies help address the needs of
homeless drug users as a shared client group.
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ANNEX 8
HOW TO CONTACT THE HOME OFFICE IMMIGRATION AND
NATIONALITY DIRECTORATE

1.
The Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) will exchange
information with housing authorities subject to relevant data protection and disclosure
policy requirements being met and properly managed, provided that the information is
required to assist with the carrying out of statutory functions or prevention and
detection of fraud. 
2.
The Evidence and Enquiries Unit (EEU) will provide a service to housing authorities
to confirm the immigration status of an applicant from abroad (Non-Asylum Seekers).
In order to take advantage of the service, housing authorities first need to register with
the Evidence and Enquiries Unit, Immigration and Nationality Directorate, 12th Floor
Lunar House, Croydon, CR9 2BY either by letter or Fax: 020 8196 3049
3.
Registration details required by the EEU’s Local Authorities’ Team are:
(a) Name of enquiring housing authority on headed paper;
(b) Job title/status of officer registering on behalf of the local housing authority; and
(c) Names of housing authority staff and their respective job titles/status who will be
making enquiries on behalf of the housing authority.
4.
Once the housing authority is registered with the EEU, and this has been confirmed,
then the authorised personnel can make individual enquiries by letter or fax, but
replies will be returned by post.
5.
The EEU will not usually indicate that someone is an asylum seeker unless the
applicant has signed a disclaimer and it is attached to the enquiry or if the enquirer
has specifically asked about asylum.
6.
If a response indicates that the applicant has an outstanding asylum claim, or there are
any queries regarding an ongoing asylum case, enquiries should be made to NASS LA
Comms on 020 8760 4527. Local authorities will also need to be registered with this
team before any information can be provided.
7.
The Home Office (IND) can only advise whether an EEA/foreign national has a right
of residence in the United Kingdom. IND does not decide whether an EEA/Foreign
national qualifies for benefits or for local authority housing.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 192

ANNEX 9
ASYLUM SEEKERS
OVERVIEW 
1.
Generally, asylum seekers can be expected to be persons subject to immigration
control 
who have been given temporary admission but have not been granted leave to
enter or remain in the UK.
2.
Asylum seekers who are persons subject to immigration control and whose claim
for asylum was made after 2 April 2000 are not eligible for assistance under 
Part 7. 
However, some asylum seekers who are persons subject to immigration control
and whose claim for asylum was made before 3 April 2000 may be eligible (see
below).
3.
Broadly speaking, an asylum seeker is a person claiming to have a well-founded fear
of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a
particular social group, or political opinion, and who is unable or unwilling to avail
him or her self of the protection of the authorities in his or her own country.
4.
A person only becomes an asylum seeker when his or her claim for asylum has been
recorded by the Home Secretary, and he or she remains an asylum seeker until such
time as that application has been finally resolved (including the resolution of any
appeal). The recording, consideration and resolution of such claims is a matter for the
Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND).
5.
If there is any uncertainty about an applicant’s immigration or asylum status, housing
authorities should contact the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate,
using the procedures set out in Annex 8. Before doing so, the applicant should be
advised that an inquiry will be made: if at this stage the applicant prefers to withdraw
his or her application, no further action will be required
ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PART 7 ASSISTANCE
6.
The Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006
(SI 2006 No.1294) (“the Eligibility Regulations”) provide that asylum seekers who are
persons subject to immigration control and who claimed asylum before 3 April 2000
are eligible for assistance under Part 7 in certain circumstances (set out below).
However, by virtue of s.186(1), an asylum seeker is not eligible for Part 7 assistance if
he or she has any accommodation in the UK – however temporary – available for his
or her occupation. This would include a place in a hostel or bed and breakfast hotel.
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7.
Subject to s.186(1), such asylum seekers are eligible for assistance under Part 7, if
they claimed asylum before 3 April 2000, and:
i)
the claim for asylum was made at the port on initial arrival in the UK (but not on
re-entry) from a country outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the
Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland; or
ii)  the claim for asylum was made within 3 months of a declaration by the Secretary
of State that he would not normally order the return of a person to the country of
which he or she is a national because of a fundamental change of circumstances
in that country, and the asylum seeker was present in Great Britain on the date the
declaration was made; or
iii)  the claim for asylum was made on or before 4 February 1996 and the applicant
was entitled to housing benefit on 4 February 1996 under regulation 7A of the
Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987.
8.
Generally, a person ceases to be an asylum seeker for the purposes of the Eligibility
Regulations when his claim for asylum is recorded by the Secretary of State as having
been decided (other than on appeal) or abandoned. However, a person does not cease
to be an asylum seeker in these circumstances for the purposes of paragraph 7(iii) if
he continues to be eligible for housing benefit by virtue of:
– regulation 10(6) of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 213), or
– regulation 10(6) of the Housing Benefit (persons who have attained the qualifying
age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 214).
as amended by the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Consequential
Provisions) Regulations 2006 
(SI 2006 No.217).
FORMER ASYLUM SEEKERS
9.
Where an asylum claim is successful – either initially or following an appeal – the
claimant will normally be granted refugee status. If a claim is unsuccessful, leave to
remain in the UK may still be granted, in accordance with published policies on
Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave. Former asylum seekers granted
refugee status, or those granted Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave which
is not subject to a condition requiring him to maintain and accommodate himself
without recourse to public funds will be eligible for homelessness assistance.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 194

10.
Prior to April 2003, Exceptional Leave to Remain was granted rather than
Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Those with Exceptional Leave to
Remain which is not subject to a condition requiring him to maintain and
accommodate himself without recourse to public funds will also be eligible for
homelessness assistance. 
INFORMATION 
11.
Under s.187 of the Housing Act 1996, the Home Office Immigration and Nationality
Directorate (IND) will, on request, provide local housing authorities with the
information necessary to determine whether a particular housing applicant is an
asylum seeker, or a dependant of an asylum seeker, and whether he or she is eligible
for assistance under Part 7. In cases where it is confirmed that a housing applicant is
an asylum seeker, or the dependant of an asylum seeker, any subsequent change in
circumstances which affect the applicant’s housing status (eg. a decision on the asylum
claim) will be notified to the authority by the IND. The procedures for contacting the
IND are set out in Annex 8.
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ANNEX 10
THE HABITUAL RESIDENCE TEST 
1.
In practice, when considering housing applications from persons who are subject to
the habitual residence test, it is only necessary to investigate habitual residence if the
applicant has arrived or returned to live in the UK during the two year period prior to
making the application.
DEFINITION OF HABITUALLY RESIDENT
2.
The term ‘habitually resident’ is not defined in legislation. Local authorities should
always consider the overall circumstances of a case to determine whether someone is
habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of
Ireland.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
3.
When deciding whether a person is habitually resident in a place, consideration must
be given to all the facts of each case in a common sense way. It should be remembered
that:-
• the test focuses on the fact and nature of residence;
• a person who is not resident somewhere cannot be habitually resident there.
Residence is a more settled state than mere physical presence in a country. To be
resident a person must be seen to be making a home. It need not be the only home
or a permanent home but it must be a genuine home for the time being. For
example, a short stay visitor or a person receiving short term medical treatment is
not resident;
• the most important factors for habitual residence are the length, continuity and
general nature of actual residence rather than intention;
• the practicality of a person’s arrangements for residence is a necessary part of
determining whether it can be described as settled and habitual;
• established habitual residents who have periods of temporary or occasional absence
of long or short duration may still be habitually resident during such absences.
ACTION ON RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION 
Applicant came to live in the UK during the previous two years
4.
If it appears that the applicant came to live in the UK during the previous two years,
authorities should make further enquiries to decide if the applicant is habitually
resident, or can be treated as such.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 196

Factors to consider
5.
The applicant’s stated reasons and intentions for coming to the UK will be relevant to
the question of whether he or she is habitually resident. If the applicant’s stated
intention is to live in the UK, and not return to the country from which they came,
that intention must be consistent with their actions.
6.
To decide whether an applicant is habitually resident in the UK, authorities should
consider the factors set out below. However, these do not provide an exhaustive check
list of the questions or factors that need to be considered. Further enquiries may be
needed. The circumstances of each case will dictate what information is needed, and
all relevant factors should be taken into account.
Why has the applicant come to the UK?
7.
If the applicant is returning to the UK after a period spent abroad, and it can be
established that the applicant was previously habitually resident in the UK and is
returning to resume his or her former period of habitual residence, he or she will be
immediately habitually resident
.
8.
In determining whether an applicant is returning to resume a former period of habitual
residence authorities should consider:
• when did the applicant leave the UK?
• how long did the applicant live in the UK before leaving? 
• why did the applicant leave the UK? 
• how long did the applicant intend to remain abroad? 
• why did the applicant return? 
• did the applicant’s partner and children, if any, also leave the UK? 
• did the applicant keep accommodation in the UK? 
• if the applicant owned property, was it let, and was the lease timed to coincide with
the applicant’s return to the UK? 
• what links did the applicant keep with the UK? 
• have there been other brief absences? If yes, obtain details 
• why has the applicant come to the UK?
9.
If the applicant has arrived in the UK within the previous two years and is not
resuming a period of habitual residence, consideration should be given to his or her
reasons for coming to the UK, and in particular to the factors set out below.
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Applicant is joining family or friends
10.
If the applicant has come to the UK to join or rejoin family or friends, authorities
should consider: 
• has the applicant sold or given up any property abroad? 
• has the applicant bought or rented accommodation or is he or she staying with
friends? 
• is the move to the UK intended to be permanent? 
Applicant’s plans
11.
Authorities should consider the applicant’s plans, e.g.: 
• if the applicant plans to remain in the UK, is the applicant’s stated plan consistent
with his or her actions? 
• were any arrangements made for employment and accommodation (even if
unsuccessful) before the applicant arrived in the UK? 
• did the applicant buy a one-way ticket? 
• did the applicant bring all his or her belongings? 
• is there any evidence of links with the UK, eg membership of clubs?
12.
The fact that a person may intend to live in the UK for the foreseeable future does not,
of itself, mean that habitual residence has been established. However, the applicant’s
intentions along with other factors, for example the disposal of property abroad, may
indicate that the applicant is habitually resident in the UK.
13.
An applicant who intends to reside in the UK for only a short period, for example for
a holiday or to visit friends is unlikely to be habitually resident in the UK.
Length of residence in another country
14.
Authorities should consider the length and continuity of an applicant’s residence in
another country: 
• how long did the applicant live in the previous country? 
• does the applicant have any remaining ties with his or her former country of
residence? 
• has the applicant stayed in different countries outside the UK? 
15.
It is possible that a person may own a property abroad but still be habitually resident
in the UK. A person who has a home or close family in another country would
normally retain habitual residence in that country. A person who has previously lived
in several different countries but has now moved permanently to the UK may be
habitually resident here.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 198

Centre of interest
16.
An applicant is likely to be habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle
of Man or the Republic of Ireland, despite spending time abroad, if his or her centre of
interest is located in one of these places.
17.
People who maintain their centre of interest in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of
Man or the Republic of Ireland, for example a home, a job, friends, membership of
clubs, are likely to be habitually resident there. People who have retained their centre
of interest in another country and have no particular ties with the UK, the Channel
Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland, are unlikely to be habitually
resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
18.
Authorities should take the following into account when deciding the centre of
interest:
• home;
• family ties;
• club memberships;
• finance accounts
19.
If the centre of interest appears to be in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man
or the Republic of Ireland but the applicant has a home somewhere else, authorities
should consider the applicant’s intentions regarding the property.
20.
In certain cultures, e.g. the Asian culture, it is quite common for a person to live in
one country but have property abroad that they do not intend to sell. Where such a
person has lived in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of
Ireland for many years, the fact that they have property elsewhere does not necessarily
mean that they intend to leave, or that the applicant’s centre of interest is elsewhere.
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ANNEX 11
EUROPEAN GROUPINGS
(EU, A8, EEA, SWITZERLAND)

THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands,
Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the A8 or
Accession States.
THE “A8” or “ACCESSION STATES”
The 8 eastern European States that acceded to the EU in 2004 (and whose nationals may be
subject to the UK Worker Registration Scheme for a transitional period):
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA)
All EU countries, plus: Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
SWITZERLAND
Note: Although not an EEA State, Switzerland should be treated as an EEA State for the
purpose of this guidance. (See the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006
(S.I. 2006 No. 1003), regulation 2(1))
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 200

ANNEX 12
RIGHTS TO RESIDE IN THE UK DERIVED FROM EC LAW
1.
EEA nationals and their family members who have a right to reside in the UK that
derives from EC law are not persons subject to immigration control. This means that
they will be eligible for assistance under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (“housing
assistance”) unless they fall within one of the categories of persons to be treated as a
person from abroad who is ineligible for assistance by virtue of regulation 6 of the
Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006
(“the Eligibility Regulations”).
GENERAL
Nationals of EU countries 
2.
Nationals of EU countries enjoy a number of different rights to reside in other
Member States, including the UK. These rights derive from the EC Treaty, EC
secondary legislation (in particular Directive 2004/38/EC), and the case law of the
European Court of Justice. 
3.
Whether an individual EU national has a right to reside in the UK will depend on his
or her circumstances, particularly his or her economic status (e.g. whether employed,
self-employed, seeking work, a student, or economically inactive etc.).
The accession states
4.
A slightly different regime applies to EU nationals who are nationals of the accession
states. For the purposes of this guidance, ‘the accession states’ are the 8 eastern
European countries that acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia,
Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006
5.
The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“the EEA
Regulations”) implement into UK domestic law EC legislation conferring rights of
residence on EU nationals. Broadly, the EEA Regulations provide that EU nationals
have the right to reside in the UK without the requirement for leave to remain under
the Immigration Act 1971 for the first 3 months of their residence, and for longer, if
they are a “qualified person” or they have acquired a permanent right of residence.
Nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 
6.
The EEA Regulations extend the same rights to reside in the UK to nationals of
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as those afforded to EU nationals (The EU
countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway together comprise the EEA.)
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Nationals of Switzerland
7.
The EEA Regulations also extend the same rights to reside in the UK to nationals of
Switzerland. 
8.
For the purposes of this guidance, “EEA nationals” means nationals of any of the EU
member states (excluding the UK), and nationals of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein
and Switzerland. 
INITIAL 3 MONTHS OF RESIDENCE
9.
Regulation 13 of the EEA Regulations provides that EEA nationals have the right to
reside in the UK for a period of up to 3 months without any conditions or formalities
other than holding a valid identity card or passport. Therefore, during their first 3
months of residence in the UK, EEA nationals will not be subject to immigration
control (unless the right to reside is lost following a decision by an immigration
officer in accordance with regulation 13(3) of the EEA Regulations).
10.
However, regulations 6(1)(b)(i) and (c) of the Eligibility Regulations provide that 
a person who is not subject to immigration control is not eligible for housing
assistance if:
(i)
his or her only right to reside in the UK is an initial right to reside for a period
not exceeding 3 months under regulation 13 of the EEA Regulations, or
(ii) his or her only right to reside in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the
Republic of Ireland is a right equivalent to the right mentioned in (i) above which
is derived from the Treaty establishing the European Community.
On (ii), article 6 of Directive 2004/38/EC provides that EU citizens have the right of
residence in the territory of another Member State (e.g. the Republic of Ireland) for a
period of up to 3 months without any conditions or formalities other than holding a
valid identity card or passport.
RIGHTS OF RESIDENCE FOR ‘QUALIFIED PERSONS’
11.
Regulation 14 of the EEA Regulations provides that ‘qualified persons’ have the right
to reside in the UK so long as they remain a qualified person. Under regulation 6 of
the EEA Regulations, ‘qualified person’ means:
a)
a jobseeker,
b)
a worker,
c)
a self-employed person,
d)
a self-sufficient person,
e)
a student.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 202

Jobseekers
12.
For the purposes of regulation 6(1)(a) of the EEA Regulations, ‘jobseeker’ means a
person who enters the UK in order to seek employment and can provide evidence that
he or she is seeking employment and has a genuine chance of being employed.
13.
Accession state nationals who need to register to work (see paragraph 20 below) do
not have a right to reside in the UK as a jobseeker (see regulation 5(2) of the
Accession Regulations, as amended). However, accession state nationals seeking work
may have a right to reside by virtue of another status, e.g. as a self-sufficient person.
14.
Although a person who is a jobseeker for the purposes of the definition of “qualified
person” in regulation 6(1)(a) of the EEA Regulations is not subject to immigration
control, regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations provides that a person is not
eligible for housing assistance if:
(i)
his or her only right to reside in the UK is derived from his status as a jobseeker
or the family member of a jobseeker, or
(ii)  his or her only right to reside in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the
Republic of Ireland is a right equivalent to the right mentioned in (i) above which
is derived from the Treaty establishing the European Community. 
Workers 
15.
In order to be a worker for the purposes of the EEA Regulations, a person must be
employed, that is, the person is obliged to provide services for another person in return
for monetary reward and who is subject to the control of that other person as regards
the way in which the work is to be done.
16.
Activity as an employed person may include part-time work, seasonal work and cross-
border work (i.e. where a worker is established in another Member State and travels to
work in the UK). However, the case law provides that the employment must be
effective and genuine economic activity, and not on such a small scale as to be
regarded as purely marginal and ancillary.
17.
Provided the employment is effective and genuine economic activity, the fact that a
person’s level of remuneration may be below the level of subsistence or below the
national minimum wage, or the fact that a person may be receiving financial
assistance from public benefits, would not exclude that person from being a ‘worker’.
Housing authorities should note that surprisingly small amounts of work can be
regarded as effective and genuine economic activity.
18.
Applicants in the labour market should be able to confirm that they are, or have been,
working in the UK by providing, for example:
– payslips,
– a contract of employment, or
– a letter of employment.
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Retention of worker status
19.
A person who is no longer working does not cease to be treated as a ‘worker’ for the
purpose of regulation 6(1)(b) of the EEA Regulations, if he or she:
(a) is temporarily unable to work as the result of an illness or accident; or
(b) is recorded as involuntarily unemployed after having being employed in the UK,
provided that he or she has registered as a jobseeker with the relevant
employment office, and:
(i)  was employed for one year or more before becoming unemployed, or
(ii)  has been unemployed for no more than 6 months, or 
(iii)  can provide evidence that he or she is seeking employment in the UK and
has a genuine chance of being engaged; or
(c)  is involuntarily unemployed and has embarked on vocational training; or
(d)  has voluntarily ceased working and embarked on vocational training that is
related to his or her previous employment.
Accession state workers requiring registration who are treated as workers
20.
By virtue of the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004
(SI 2004/1219) (“the Accession Regulations”), accession state nationals (with certain
exceptions) are required to register their employment in the UK until they have
accrued a period of 12 months’ continuous employment. The exceptions are set out in
Annex 13.
21.
An accession state national requiring registration is only treated as a worker if he or
she is actually working and:
(a) has registered his or her employment and is working in the UK for an authorised
employer (see regulation 5(2) of the Accession Regulations, as amended), or 
(b)  is not registered for employment, but has been working for an employer for less
than one month (regulation 7(3) of the Accession Regulations), or
(c) has applied to register under the Worker Registration Scheme and is working for
the employer with whom he or she has applied to register (regulation 7(2)(b) of
the Accession Regulations).
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 204

22.
To demonstrate eligibility for housing assistance, accession state workers requiring
registration should be able to:
(a)  provide a valid worker registration card, and a valid worker registration certificate
showing their current employer (see Annex 13 for specimens of these
documents), or 
(b)  (where the accession state worker has applied to register but not yet received the
registration certificate) provide a copy of their application to register, or
(c)  show they have been working for their current employer for less than one month.
23.
Authorities may need to contact the employer named in the registration certificate, to
confirm that the applicant continues to be employed. 
24.
See Annex 13 for guidance on the Worker Registration Scheme.
25.
A person who is a ‘worker’ for the purposes of the definition of a qualified person in
regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations is not subject to immigration control, and is
eligible for housing assistance whether or not he or she is habitually resident in the
UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
Self-employed persons 
26.
‘Self-employed person’ means a person who establishes himself in the UK in order to
pursue activity as a self-employed person in accordance with Article 43 of the Treaty
establishing the European Union.
27.
A self-employed person should be able to confirm that he or she is pursuing activity
as a self-employed person by providing documents relating to their business such as:
a)
invoices,
b)
tax accounts, or
c)
utility bills.
28.
A person who is no longer in self-employment does not cease to be treated as a self-
employed person for the purposes of regulation 6(1)(c) of the EEA regulations, if he
or she is temporarily unable to pursue his or her activity as a self-employed person as
the result of an illness or accident.
29.
Accession state nationals are not required to register in order to establish themselves
in the UK as a self-employed person.
30.
A person who is a self-employed person for the purposes of the definition of a
qualified person in regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations is not subject to
immigration control, and is eligible for housing assistance whether or not he or she is
habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of
Ireland.
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Self-sufficient persons 
31.
Regulation 4(1)(c) of the EEA regulations defines ‘self-sufficient person’ as a person
who has:
(i)
sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the
UK during his or her period of residence, and 
(ii) comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the UK.
32.
By regulation 4(4) of the EEA Regulations, the resources of a person who is a self-
sufficient person or a student (see below), and where applicable, any family members,
are to be regarded as sufficient if they exceed the maximum level of resources which a
UK national and his or her family members may possess if he or she is to become
eligible for social assistance under the UK benefit system.
33.
Where an EEA national applies for housing assistance as a self-sufficient person and
does not appear to meet the conditions of regulation 4(1)(c), the housing authority will
need to consider whether he or she may have some other right to reside in the UK. 
34.
Where the applicant does not meet the conditions of regulation 4(1)(c) but has
previously done so during his or her residence in the UK, the case should be referred
to the Home Office for clarification of their status.
35.
A person who is a self-sufficient person for the purposes of the definition of a
qualified person in regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations is not subject to
immigration control, but must be habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands,
the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland to be eligible for housing assistance.
Students
36.
Regulation 4(1)(d) of the EEA regulations defines ‘student’ as a person who :
(a) is enrolled at a private or public establishment included on the Department of
Education and Skills’ Register of Education and Training Providers, or is
financed from public funds, for the principal purpose of following a course of
study, including vocational training, and
(b) has comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the UK, and
(c)  assures the Secretary of State, by means of a declaration or such equivalent
means as the person may choose, that he or she (and if applicable his or her
family members) has sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social
assistance system of the UK during his or her period of residence.
37.
A person who is a student for the purposes of the definition of a qualified person in
regulation 6(1) of the EEA Regulations is not subject to immigration control. The
eligibility of such a person for housing assistance should therefore be considered in
accordance with regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 206

PERMANENT RIGHT OF RESIDENCE 
38.
Regulation 15 of the EEA Regulations provides that the following persons shall
acquire the right to reside in the UK permanently:
(a) an EEA national who has resided in the UK in accordance with the EEA
regulations for a continuous period of 5 years;
(b)  a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA national and who has
resided in the UK with the EEA national in accordance with the EEA regulations
for a continuous period of 5 years;
(c)  a worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity (see regulation 5 of the
EEA Regulations for the definition of worker or self-employed person who has
ceased activity);
(d)  the family member of a worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity;
(e)  a person who was the family member of a worker or self-employed person who
has died, where the family member resided with the worker or self-employed
person immediately before the death and the worker or self-employed person had
resided continuously in the UK for at least 2 years before the death (or the death
was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease);
(f)  a person who has resided in the UK in accordance with the EEA regulations for a
continuous period of 5 years, and at the end of that period was a family member
who has retained the right of residence (see regulation 10 of the EEA Regulations
for the definition of a family member who has retained the right of residence).
Once acquired, the right of permanent residence can be lost through absence from the
UK for a period exceeding two consecutive years.
39.
A person with a right to reside permanently in the UK arising from (c), (d) or (e)
above is eligible for housing assistance whether or not he or she is habitually resident
in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. Persons
with a permanent right to reside by virtue of (a),(b), or (f) must be habitually resident
to be eligible. 
RIGHTS OF RESIDENCE FOR CERTAIN FAMILY MEMBERS 
The right to reside
40.
Regulation 14 of the EEA Regulations provides that the following family members are
entitled to reside in the UK:
(i)  a family member of a qualified person residing in the UK;
(ii)  a family member of an EEA national with a permanent right of residence under
regulation 15; and 
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(iii) a family member who has retained the right of residence (see regulation 10 of the
EEA Regulations for the definition).
41.
A person who has a right to reside in the UK as the family member of an EEA
national under the EEA Regulations will not be subject to immigration control. The
eligibility of such a person for housing assistance should therefore be considered in
accordance with regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations.
42.
When considering the eligibility of a family member, local authorities should consider
whether the person has acquired a right to reside in their own right, for example a
permanent right to reside under regulation 15 of the EEA Regulations (see paragraph
38 above).
Who is a ‘family member’?
43.
Regulation 7 of the EEA regulations provides that the following persons are treated as
the family members of another person (with certain exceptions for students – see
below):
(a) the spouse of the person;
(b) the civil partner of the person (part of a registered partnership equivalent to
marriage);
(c)  a direct descendant of the person, or of the person’s spouse or civil partner, who
is under the age of 21;
(d)  a direct descendant of the person, or of the person’s spouse or civil partner, who
is over 21 and dependent on the person, or the spouse or civil partner;
(e)  an ascendant relative of the person, or of the person’s spouse or civil partner, who
is dependent on the person or the spouse or civil partner.
(f)  a person who is an extended family member and is treated as a family member by
virtue of regulation 7(3) of the EEA regulations (see below).
Family members of students
44.
Regulation 7(2) of the EEA regulations provides that a person who falls within (c), (d)
or (e) above shall not be treated as a family member of a student residing in the UK
after the period of 3 months beginning on the date the student is admitted to the UK
unless:
(i)  in the case of paragraph 43 (c) and (d) above, the person is the dependent child of
the student, or of the spouse or civil partner, or
(ii)  the student is also a qualified person (for the purposes of regulation 6(1) of the
EEA regulations) other than as a student.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 208

Extended family members
45.
Broadly, extended family members will be persons who :
(a) do not fall within any of the categories (a) to (e) in paragraph 43 above, and 
(b)  are either a relative of an EEA national (or of the EEA national’s spouse or civil
partner) or the partner of an EEA national, and
(c)  have been issued with an EEA family permit, a registration certificate or a
residence card which is valid and has not been revoked.
Family members’ eligibility for housing assistance
Relationship with other rights to reside
46.
This section concerns the eligibility of an applicant for housing assistance whose right
to reside is derived from his or her status as the family member of an EEA national
with a right to reside. In some cases, a family member will have acquired a right to
reside in his or her own right. In particular, a person who arrived in the UK as the
family member of an EEA national may have subsequently acquired a permanent right
of residence under regulation 15 of the EEA Regulations, as outlined in paragraph
38(a) – (f) above. The eligibility for housing assistance of those with a permanent
right of residence is discussed at paragraph 39.
Family members who must be habitually resident
47.
For family members with a right to reside under regulation 14 of the EEA
Regulations, the following categories of persons must be habitually resident in the
UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland in order to be
eligible for housing assistance:
a)
a person whose right to reside derives from their status as a family member of an
EEA national who is a self-sufficient person for the purposes of regulation
6(1)(d) of the EEA regulations;
b)
a person whose right to reside derives from their status as a family member of an
EEA national who is a student for the purposes of regulation 6(1)(e) of the EEA
regulations;
c)
a person whose right to reside is dependent on their status as a family member of
an EEA national with a permanent right to reside; 
d)
a person whose right to reside is dependent on their status as a family member
who has retained the right of residence.
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Family members who are exempt from the habitual residence requirement
48.
A person with a right to reside under regulation 14 as a family member of an EEA
national who is a worker or a self-employed person for the purposes of regulation 6(1)
of the EEA regulations is exempted from the requirement to be habitually resident by
regulation 6(2)(d) of the Eligibility Regulations. However, authorities should note that
an extended family member (see above) is not counted as a family member for the
purposes of regulation 6(2)(d) of the Eligibility Regulations (see regulation 2(3) of the
Eligibility Regulations).
Family members of UK nationals exercising rights under the EC Treaty
49.
There are some limited cases in which the non-EEA family member of a UK national
may have a right to reside under EU law. Under regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations,
the family member of a UK national should be treated as an EEA family member
where the following conditions are met:
(i)
the UK national is residing in an EEA State as a worker or self-employed person,
or was so residing before returning to the UK; and
(ii) if the family member of the UK national is his spouse or civil partner, the parties
are living together in the EEA State, or had entered into a marriage or civil
partnership and were living together in that State before the UK national returned
to the UK.
50.
Where the family member of a UK national is to be treated as an EEA family member
by virtue of regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations, that person is not subject to
immigration control, and his or her eligibility for housing assistance should therefore
be determined in accordance with regulation 6 of the Eligibility Regulations.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 210

ANNEX 13
WORKER REGISTRATION SCHEME
Introduction 
1.
On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries acceded to the European Union: Cyprus, Malta,
Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
2.
Nationals of all of these countries have the right to move freely among all member
states. Nationals of 2 of the Accession countries – Malta and Cyprus – enjoyed full
EU Treaty rights from 1 May 2004. These include the right to seek work and take up
employment in another Member State.
3.
However, under the EU Accession Treaties that apply to the other 8 Accession states
(“the A8 Member States”), existing Member States can impose limitations on the
rights of nationals of the A8 Member States to access their labour markets (and the
associated rights of residence), for a transitional period. (The EU Accession Treaties
do not allow existing Member States to restrict access to their labour markets by
nationals of Malta or Cyprus.)
4.
Under the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004
(SI 2004/1219) as amended (“the Accession Regulations”), nationals of the A8
Member States (with certain exceptions) are required to register with the Home Office
if they work in the UK during the transitional period. While looking for work (or
between jobs) their right to reside will be conditional on them being self-sufficient
and not imposing an unreasonable burden on the UK social assistance system. These
conditions cease to apply once they have worked in the UK continuously for 
12 months.
The Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004
5.
The Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 provide that,
from 1 May 2004, nationals of the A8 Member States can take up employment in the
UK provided they are authorised to work for their employer under the Worker
Registration scheme.
6.
The Accession Regulations also give workers from the A8 Member States the right to
reside in the UK. Workers from the A8 Member States who are working lawfully have
the same right to equal treatment as other EEA workers while they are working.
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The Worker Registration scheme
7.
The Worker Registration scheme applies only to nationals of: Poland, Lithuania,
Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic (the A8 Member
States). It is a transitional scheme under which the UK Government allows nationals
of the A8 Member States access to the UK labour market provided they comply with
the registration scheme.
8.
The derogation from EC law allowed by the Treaties of Accession does not apply to
nationals of existing EEA states. Workers from those states, therefore, have an EC
right to work and reside in the UK.
9.
The Worker Registration scheme is a transitional measure. The Accession
(Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 
provide for the registration
scheme to operate for up to five years from 1 May 2004 (i.e. until 30 April 2009). The
Government reviewed the scheme within its first two years of operation and decided
that the scheme will continue beyond 1 May 2006, and may continue throughout the
second phase of the transitional arrangements. However, the need to retain the scheme
during the whole of the second phase will be kept under review.
10.
Nationals of A8 Member States who are self-employed are not required to register.
(Under the Accession Treaties, there is no derogation from the right of EU citizens to
establish themselves in another Member State (including the UK) as self-employed
persons.) However, nationals of A8 Member States who are self-employed cannot take
paid employment unless they register (unless they are exempt from registration, see
below). 
Registration under the scheme
11.
Nationals of A8 Member States (except those who are exempt from the scheme, see
below) must apply to register with the Home Office as soon as they start work in the
UK, and within one month of taking up employment at the very latest. They will be
issued with a worker registration card and a worker registration certificate,
authorising them to work for the employer concerned.
12.
If they change employers they will have to apply to for a new registration certificate
authorising them to work for their new employer. They will then be provided with a
new certificate for that employer. If they change employer or have a break in
employment and resume working for the same employer, they must apply for a new
registration certificate.
13.
Workers from the A8 Member States have the same right to equal treatment as other
EEA workers while they are working. 
14.
After 12 months’ uninterrupted work in the UK, a worker from an A8 Member State
will acquire full EU Treaty rights, and will be free from the requirement to register to
work. At that stage, they will be able to apply to the Home Office for an EEA
residence permit to confirm their right to equal treatment on the same basis as other
EEA nationals. 
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 212

15.
The Worker Registration Team issues applicants with a secure worker registration
card 
containing:
– Name;
– Date of Birth;
– Nationality;
– Date of issue;
– Unique identification number;
– A facial identifier (photograph); 
and 
certificate (on secure paper) which states:
– Worker’s name;
– Worker’s Date of Birth;
– Nationality;
– Worker’s unique identification number;
– Name and address (head or main office) of employer;
– Job title;
– Start date;
– Date of issue.
16.
The registration card is a secure document that provides applicants with a unique
identification reference number. This is valid for as long as the applicant requires
registration under the scheme. 
17.
The registration certificate is specific to a particular employer. The certificate
expires as soon as the person stops working for that employer. If the person changes
employers or has a break in employment and resumes working for the same employer,
he or she must apply for a new registration certificate.
18.
Specimen copies of the registration card and registration certificate are provided at the
end of this annex.
12 months’ uninterrupted work
19.
A worker from an A8 Member State (who is subject to the registration scheme) must
not be out of wormore than a total of 30 days in a 12-month period, in order to
establish “12 months’ uninterrupted work”.
20.
If a national of an A8 Member State has worked for a period of less than 12 months
when the employment comes to an end, he or she will need to find another job within
30 days to be able to count the first period of work towards accruing a period of 12
months’ uninterrupted employment. 
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21.
If the worker’s second (or subsequent) employment comes to an end before he or she
has accrued a period of 12 months’ uninterrupted employment, he or she must ensure
that there has been no more than a total of 30 days between all of the periods of
employment. If more than 30 days between periods of employment occur before a
12-month period of uninterrupted employment is established, a fresh period of
12 months’ uninterrupted employment would need to commence from that point.
22.
The Worker Registration scheme is based on continuity of employment – there is no
restriction on the number of different jobs (or employers) that a worker can have
during a 12-month period of continuous employment.
23.
When an A8 Member State worker has worked for 12 months without interruption 
he or she can apply to the Home Office for an EEA residence permit. Evidence of
12 months’ uninterrupted employment would include the worker registration card,
registration certificates for each of the jobs they have undertaken, letters from
employers and pay slips.
A8 nationals who must register 
24.
The Worker Registration Scheme applies to nationals of the following accession
states: Poland; Lithuania; Estonia; Latvia; Slovenia; Slovakia; Hungary; and the Czech
Republic.
25.
Nationals of A8 Member States need to apply for a registration certificate under the
Worker Registration Scheme, if they are a citizen of one of the countries listed above
and they:
• start a new job on or after 1 May 2004;
• have been working in the UK before 1 May 2004 without authorisation or in breach
of their immigration conditions;
• are working on a short-term or temporary basis; or
• are a student who is also working.
A8 nationals exempt from registration
26.
The following are the categories of nationals of an A8 Member State who are not
required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme:
– those working in a self-employed capacity;
– those who have been working with permission in the UK for 12 months or more
without interruption;
– those who have been working with permission in the UK for their current employer
since before 1 May 2004;
– those who have leave to enter the UK under the Immigration Act 1971 on 30 April
2004 and their leave was not subject to any condition restricting their employment;
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 214

– those who are providing services in the UK on behalf of an employer who is not
established in the UK;
– those who are a citizen of the UK, another EEA state (other than an A8 state) or
Switzerland;
– those who are a family member (spouse, civil partner, or child under the age of 21
or dependant) of a Swiss or EEA national (other than an A8 national) who is
working in the UK;
– those who are a family member (spouse, civil partner or dependant child) of a
Swiss or EEA national who is in the UK and is a student, self-employed, retired, or
self-sufficient.
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
216


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ANNEX 14
MOD CERTIFICATE: CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF
ENTITLEMENT FOR SINGLE PERSONNEL TO OCCUPY
SERVICE LIVING ACCOMMODATION

MOD Form 1166
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Introduced 5/97
Revised 4/03
CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF ENTITLEMENT FOR SINGLE PERSONNEL
TO OCCUPY SERVICE LIVING ACCOMMODATION
I certify that
(Name)
(Rank & Number)
Of
(Unit)
Will cease to be entitled
(Address)
to occupy Service Living
Accommodation
(Date)
From
By reason of
An application for housing was made to ………………………………Housing
Authority/Housing Association on ……….…………………… (copy of letter attached)
The person has the following special circumstances …………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Signed
UNIT STAMP
Name
Position
Date
1. This certificate provides evidence of cessation of entitlement to occupy Service Living
Accommodation.
2. The certificate should be completed by the unit admin authority and sent at the earliest possible date to
the Housing Authority/Association to which application for accommodation has been made, preferably
as soon as it is known that entitlement to occupy Service Living Accommodation will cease.
3. Copies of this form are published in the Homelessness Code of Guidance For Local Authorities issued
by DCLG, and in guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Executive.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 218


ANNEX 15
CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO OCCUPY
SERVICE FAMILIES ACCOMMODATION OR SUBSTITUTE
SERVICE FAMILIES ACCOMMODATE (SFA/SSFA)

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
MOD Form
Introduced 4/03
CERTIFICATE OF CESSATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO OCCUPY SERVICE FAMILIES
ACCOMMODATION OR SUBSTITUTE SERVICE FAMILIES ACCOMMODATION(SFA/SSFA)
I certify that
(Name)
(Rank & Number) #
Of
(Unit) #
(# Omit if only family involved)
Will cease to be entitled
(Address of SFA or
to occupy
SSFA)
From
(Date)
By reason of loss of entitlement to occupy Service Families Accommodation.
An application for housing was made to ………………………………Housing Authority/
Housing Association on ……….…………………… (copy of letter attached)
The following special circumstances apply ……………………………………….……….
………………………………………………………………………………………………
The household is as follows ………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
DHE STAMP
Signed
Name
Designation
Date
1. This certificate provides evidence of cessation of entitlement to occupy Service Families Accommodation or Substitute
Service Families Accommodation. Authorities should not insist on a Court Order for possession to establish a threat
of homelessness.

2. The certificate should be completed by the Licences Officer of the Defence Housing Executive and sent at the earliest
possible date to the Housing Authority/Association to which application for accommodation has been made, preferably as
soon as it is known that entitlement to occupy Service Families Accommodation will cease.
3. A period of at least six months notice should normally be allowed so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.
4. Copies of this form are published in the Homelessness Code of Guidance For Local Authorities issued by DCLG, and in
guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Executive.
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ANNEX 16
DEFINITION OF OVERCROWDING
Under s.324 of the Housing Act 1985 a dwelling is overcrowded when the number of persons
sleeping in the dwelling is such as to contravene –
(a)
the standard specified in s.325 (the room standard), or
(b)
the standard specified in s.326 (the space standard).
a) The room standard
(1)
The room standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling
and the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation is such that two
persons of opposite sexes who are not living together as husband and wife must sleep
in the same room.
(2)
For this purpose –
(a) children under the age of ten shall be left out of account, and
(b) a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in
the locality either as a bedroom or as a living room.
b) The space standard
(1)
The space standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling
is in excess of the permitted number, having regard to the number and floor area of
the rooms of the dwelling available as sleeping accommodation.
(2)
For this purpose –
(a) no account shall be taken of a child under the age of one and a child aged one or
over but under ten shall be reckoned as one-half of a unit, and
(b) a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in
the locality either as a living room or as a bedroom.
(3)
The permitted number of persons in relation to a dwelling is whichever is the less of –
(a) the number specified in Table I in relation to the number of rooms in the dwelling
available as sleeping accommodation, and
(b) the aggregate for all such rooms in the dwelling of the numbers specified in
column 2 of Table II in relation to each room of the floor area specified in
column 1.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 220

No account shall be taken for the purposes of either Table of a room having a floor area of
less than 50 square feet.
Table I
Number of rooms
Number of persons
1
2
2
3
3
5
4
71⁄2
5 or more
2 for each room
Table II
Floor area of room
Number of persons
110 sq ft or more
2
90 sq ft or more but less than 110 sq ft
11⁄2
70 sq ft or more but less than 90 sq ft
1
50 sq ft or more but less than 70 sq ft
1⁄2
(4)
The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe the manner in which the floor
area of a room is to be ascertained for the purposes of this section; and the regulations
may provide for the exclusion from computation, or the bringing into computation at a
reduced figure, of floor space in a part of the room which is of less than a specified
height not exceeding eight feet.
(5)
Regulations under subsection (4) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(6)
A certificate of the local housing authority stating the number and floor areas of the
rooms in dwelling, and that the floor areas have been ascertained in the prescribed
manner, is prima facie evidence for the purposes of legal proceedings of the facts
stated in it.
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ANNEX 17
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BED AND
BREAKFAST ACCOMMODATION

The Secretary of State recommends that housing authorities apply the standards set out below
as minimum standards in deciding whether Bed and Breakfast accommodation is suitable for
an applicant for the purposes of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (‘the homelessness
leglislation’) in the very limited circumstances where an authority may use such
accommodation for this purpose.
Space Standards for Sleeping Accommodation
1.
Room sizes where cooking facilities provided in a separate room/kitchen
Floor Area of Room
Maximum No of Persons
Less than 70 sq ft (6.5 m2)
Nil persons
Not less than 70 sq ft (6.5 m2)
1 person
Not less than 110 sq ft (10.2 m2)
2 persons
Not less than 160 sq ft (14.9 m2)
3 persons
Not less than 210 sq ft (19.6 m2)
4 persons
Not less than 260 sq ft (24.2 m2)
5 persons
Room sizes where cooking facilities provided within the room
Floor Area of Room
Maximum No of Persons
Less than 110 sq ft (10.2 m2)
Nil persons
Not less than 110 sq ft (10.2 m2)
1 person
Not less than 150 sq ft (13.9 m2)
2 persons
Not less than 200 sq ft (18.6 m2)
3 persons
Not less than 250 sq ft (23.2 m2)
4 persons
Not less than 300 sq ft (27.9 m2)
5 persons
2.
In no case should a room be occupied by more than 5 persons. The standard is to be
applied irrespective of the age of the occupants. The sharing of rooms in bed and
breakfast accommodation is not desirable, but it is accepted that where
accommodation is not self-contained families may find it preferable to share.
3.
No persons of the opposite sex who are aged 12 and over should have to share a room
unless they are living together as partners and both are above the age of consent or are
lawfully married.
4.
All rooms must have a minimum floor to ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2.14 metres)
over not less than 75% of the room area. Any floor area where the ceiling height is
less than 5 feet (1.53 metres) should be disregarded.
5.
Separate kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, shower rooms, communal rooms and en-suite
rooms are deemed unsuitable for sleeping accommodation.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 222

Installation for Heating
6.
The premises should have adequate provision for heating. All habitable rooms and
baths or shower rooms should be provided with a fixed space-heating appliance.
The appliance must be capable of efficiently maintaining the room at a minimum
temperature of 18ºC when the outside temperature is –1ºC. “Fixed space heating
appliance” means fixed gas appliance, fixed electrical appliance or an adequate
system of central heating, operable at all times.
Facilities for the Storage, Preparation and Cooking of Food and
Disposal of Waste Water

7.
Wherever practicable, each household should have exclusive use of a full set of
kitchen facilities including:
• cooking facilities – a gas or electric cooker with a four-burner hob, oven and grill.
In single person lettings, a cooker with a minimum of two burners, oven and grill is
permissible. Where the establishment caters for fewer than 6 persons, a small guest
house for example, a microwave may be substituted for a gas or electric cooker for
periods of stay not exceeding 6 weeks for any homeless household;
• sink and integral drainer – with a constant supply of hot and cold water and
properly connected to the drainage system;
• storage cupboard, minimum capacity 0.4 m3 (400 litres/15 ft3). This provision is in
addition to any base unit cupboards provided below the sink/drainer;
• refrigerator – minimum capacity 0.14 m3 (140 litres/5 ft3);
• electrical power sockets – minimum of two double 13 amp sockets situated at
worktop height. These are in addition to electrical power sockets provided
elsewhere in the letting;
• worktop – minimum surface area 1000 mm x 600 mm.
8.
There may be circumstances where the housing authority is satisfied that the
provision of kitchen facilities for exclusive use is not practicable or appropriate.
These circumstances could, for example, include where a property is very small,
no more than two or three letting rooms, or where the overall standard of the property
is considered reasonable in all other respects and the costs of provision of exclusive
use kitchens would be prohibitive or detrimentally affect the remaining amenity space.
In circumstances such as these, the following standards for communal kitchens may
be applied.
9.
Kitchen facilities may be provided in the ratio of no less than one set for every 10 persons,
irrespective of age. Such kitchen facilities should comprise a minimum of shared:
• gas or electric cooker with four burners, oven and grill. Where the establishment
caters for fewer than 6 persons, a small guest house for example, a microwave may
be substituted for a gas or electric cooker for periods of stay not exceeding 6 weeks
for any homeless household;
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• sink and integral drainer – with a constant supply of hot and cold water and
properly connected to the drainage system;
• storage cupboard, minimum capacity 0.4 m3 (400 litres/15 ft3). This provision is in
addition to any base unit cupboards provided below the sink/drainer;
• electrical power sockets – minimum of two double 13 amp sockets situated at
worktop height. These are in addition to electrical power sockets provided
elsewhere in the letting;
• worktop – minimum surface area 1000 mm x 600 mm;
• lockable storage cupboards, minimum capacity 0.14 m3 (140 litres/5 ft3) for each
bedroom whose occupants use the kitchen. In calculating the required provision of
storage cupboards, base unit cupboards below sinks/drainers should be discounted.
10.
In addition, the following facilities should be provided within each bedroom, or within
the total accommodation occupied exclusively by each household:
• worktop – minimum surface area 1000 mm x 600 mm;
• refrigerator – minimum capacity 0.14 m3 (140 litres/5 ft3);
• storage cupboard – minimum capacity 0.4 m3 (400 litres/15 ft3).
11.
The kitchen used by management to provide breakfast may be included when
calculating the one in ten ratio, unless it is not available, does not meet the conditions
above or is deemed unsuitable for use by residents because:
• of the size of the kitchen and the equipment provided in it. In a commercial kitchen
some equipment may be dangerous or unsatisfactory for use by residents; or
• the unsatisfactory location of the kitchen in relation to the accommodation it is
supposed to serve.
12.
In schemes providing a mix of kitchens for shared and exclusive use, one set of
kitchen facilities should be provided for every 10 persons sharing. The number of
persons who have kitchen facilities provided for their exclusive use should not be
included in the calculations. Again, the kitchen used by management to provide
breakfast may be included in the one in ten calculation subject to the above conditions.
13.
Cooking facilities which are provided should be reasonably located in relation to the
room(s) occupied by the person(s) for whom they are provided and in any event not
more than one floor distant from these rooms. Please note the exception for smaller
establishments described below.
14.
In smaller establishments of not more than three storeys and not more than 30 bed
spaces, communal cooking facilities may be provided in one area of the premises
more than one floor distant from some bedrooms. In such cases, these kitchens must
be provided in association with a suitable dining room or dining rooms of adequate
size calculated on the basis of 1 m2 per bed space. This should include one area of at
least 15 m2. Only effective usable space will be considered when calculating the areas
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 224

for the purpose of this requirement. Dining room facilities should be provided with
adequate seating provision.
15.
Kitchen facilities should be made available for use 24 hours per day, subject to any
representation from the owner/manager, which must be agreed by the receiving and
placing authorities.
Toilet and personal washing facilities
16.
One internal water closet should be provided for every five persons irrespective of
age. The water closet must be within a reasonable distance from its users and not more
than one floor distant and, where practicable, a water closet should not be situated
within a bathroom. At least 50% of the water closets that are required to be provided
should be situated in separate accommodation. The number of persons occupying a
bedroom where this facility is provided for their exclusive use should not be included
in the calculations.
17.
A suitable wash hand basin (minimum dimensions 500 mm x 400 mm) with constant
hot and cold water supplies, should be provided in every bedroom, except where an
en suite bathroom is available, when the wash hand basin may be provided in that
bathroom.
18.
Each separate water closet compartment and bathroom should be provided with a
suitable wash hand basin (minimum dimensions 500 mm x 400 mm), together
with constant supplies of hot and cold running water. A tiled splashback (minimum
300 mm high) is to be provided to each wash hand basin.
19.
One bath (minimum dimensions 1700 mm x 700 mm) or one shower (minimum
dimensions 800 mm x 800 mm) should be provided for every eight persons,
irrespective of age. These facilities must be within a reasonable distance of each user
and not more than one floor distant. The number of persons having the exclusive use
of a bath or shower should not be included in the calculations.
20.
Where the operator chooses to provide showers for the exclusive use of each separate
household or the majority of households, a minimum provision of baths, rather than
showers will always be required. In such circumstances a minimum of one communal
bath should be provided for every 20 persons, irrespective of age, with a minimum of
one bath per property. These facilities must be within a reasonable distance of each
user and ideally no more than one floor distant.
Other facilities
21.
In the case of families with young children, the facilities should include a safe play
area(s) that is located away from sleeping accommodation and cooking areas.
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Management Standards
22.
In any B&B accommodation, suitability for the purposes of Part 7 will depend upon
the management standards operated within an establishment as well as the adequate
provision of basic amenities. The minimum management standards set out below
should apply and it is the responsibility of the housing authority to monitor the
management of the property.
• Operators are required to ensure the property complies with all relevant statutory
and regulatory requirements especially in relation to fire, gas and electrical safety.
The supply of gas or electricity to any resident should never be interfered with.
• A clear emergency evacuation plan should be in place setting out action upon
hearing the fire alarm, escape routes and safe assembly points. The manager must
ensure that each person newly arriving at the premises is told what to do in the
event of a fire and about the fire precautions provided.
• Residents should have access to their rooms at all times except when rooms are
being cleaned. Provision should be made to accommodate residents at these times.
• Refuse and litter should be cleared from the property and not allowed to
accumulate in, or in the curtilage, of the property, except in adequately sized and
suitable bulk refuse container(s).
• All communal areas (including, hallways, kitchens, bathrooms/showers, WCs,
dining areas, lounges if provided) should be regularly cleaned.
• Appropriate officers of the authority in whose area the premises are situated should
have access to inspect the premises as and when they consider necessary, to ensure
that the requirements are being complied with. The manager should allow such
inspections to take place, if necessary without notice.
• Officers of the health authority, local authority and authorised community workers
for the area in which the premises are situated should have acess to visit the
occupiers of the premises and interview them in private in the room(s) they occupy.
• A manager with adequate day to day responsibility to ensure the good management
of the property should be contactable at all times. A notice giving the name,
address and telephone number of the manager should be displayed in a readily
visible position in the property.
• Procedures should be in place to deal with any complaints relating to harassment
on racial, sexual or other discriminatory grounds by either residents or staff.
• There should be a clear complaints procedure for the resolution of disputes
between residents and/or staff.
• There should be available within the premises a working telephone available for use
by the occupiers and a notice should be displayed by the telephone with
information on the address and telephone numbers of: the local Environmental
Health Department, Fire Brigade, Gas Company, Electricity Company, Police
Station and local doctors.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 226

ANNEX 18
This is not guidance issued by the Secretaries of State.
PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS OF HOMELESS APPLICANTS
ON THE GROUNDS OF LOCAL CONNECTON WITH ANOTHER
LOCAL AUTHORITY

GUIDELINES FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND REFEREES
AGREED BY
ASSOCIATION OF LONDON GOVERNMENT (ALG)
CONVENTION OF SCOTTISH LOCAL AUTHORITIES (CoSLA)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (LGA)
WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (WLGA)
(“the local authority associations”)
INDEX
GUIDELINES FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES ON PROCEDURES FOR REFERRAL
1.
PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES
2.
DEFINITIONS
3.
CRITERIA FOR NOTIFICATION
4.
LOCAL CONNECTION
5.
PROCEDURES PRIOR TO MAKING A REFERRAL
6.
MAKING THE NOTIFICATION
7.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR SECURING ACCOMMODATION
8.
RIGHT OF REVIEW
9.
PROCEDURE ON REVIEW
10. DISPUTES BETWEEN AUTHORITIES
GUIDELINES FOR INVOKING THE DISPUTES PROCEDURE
11. DETERMINING DISPUTES
12. ARRANGEMENTS FOR APPOINTING REFEREES
13. PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING THE DISPUTE
14. ORAL HEARINGS
15. NOTIFICATION OF DETERMINATION
16. COSTS OF DETERMINATION
17. CIRCULATION OF DETERMINATION
18. PAYMENT OF FEES AND COSTS
19. REOPENING A DISPUTE
20. RIGHT OF REVIEW OF REFEREE’S DECISION
21. PROCEDURE ON A REVIEW
STANDARD NOTIFICATION FORM
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PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS OF HOMELESS APPLICANTS
ON THE GROUNDS OF LOCAL CONNECTON WITH ANOTHER
LOCAL AUTHORITY

GUIDELINES FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES ON PROCEDURES FOR
REFERRAL

AGREED BY
ASSOCIATION OF LONDON GOVERNMENT (ALG)
CONVENTION OF SCOTTISH LOCAL AUTHORITIES (CoSLA)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (LGA)
WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (WLGA)
(“the local authority associations”)
This procedure concerns the situation where, under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, a housing
authority is satisfied that a housing applicant is eligible for assistance, homeless and has a
priority need for accommodation, is not satisfied that the applicant is homeless intentionally
and the authority consider that the conditions for referral of the case to another housing
authority are met, and notifies the other housing authority of its opinion. Referrals are
discretionary only. Housing authorities are not required to make inquiries as to whether an
applicant has a local connection with another district, and where they decide to do so, there is
no requirement to refer applicants to another authority, if the conditions for referral are met.
Authorities may have a policy about how they may exercise their discretion. However, they
cannot decide in advance that a referral will be made in all cases where an applicant who is
eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need may have a local
connection with another district.
1
PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES
1.1
For English and Welsh authorities s.198 of the Housing Act 1996 provides that:
“(5) The question whether the conditions for referral of a case are satisfied shall be
determined by agreement between the notifying authority and the notified
authority or, in default of agreement, in accordance with such arrangements as
the Secretary of State may direct by order.
(6) An order may direct that the arrangements shall be:
(a) those agreed by any relevant authorities or associations of relevant
authorities, or
(b) in default of such agreement, such arrangements as appear to the  Secretary
of State to be suitable, after consultation with such associations representing
relevant authorities, and such other persons, as he thinks appropriate.”
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 228

1.2
Subsections 33(4) and (5) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 make the same
provision for Scotland. However, s.8 of the Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003 gives
Scottish ministers the power to suspend or vary the circumstances under which a
homeless applicant may be referred by a Scottish local authority to another authority
in Scotland. Please note any future orders made will need to be taken into account.
1.3
The ALG, CoSLA, LGA and the WLGA, the local authority associations in England,
Scotland and Wales, have agreed guidelines for referrals which they recommend to
local housing authorities. Section 198 Housing Act 1996 and s.33 Housing (Scotland)
Act 1987 
lay down the general procedures to be followed where it appears that
s.192(2) (England and Wales) or s.31 (Scotland) applies to the applicant and the
applicant does not have a local connection with the area of the authority receiving the
housing application but does have one with another area in England, Scotland or
Wales. There are, however, considerable areas of possible disagreement and dispute in
determining whether the conditions of referral are met in any particular case.
Although, in the last resort, disagreements can only be resolved by the courts, the
associations are anxious to avoid, as far as possible, legal disputes between local
authorities. The associations therefore issue these agreed guidelines on the procedures
and criteria to be followed, and recommend them for general adoption by all their
members. These Guidelines are without prejudice to the duty of local authorities
to treat each case on its merits and to take into account existing and future case
law. 
Furthermore, these Guidelines only apply to the issues of local connection and
whether the conditions for referral are met for the purposes of Part 7 of the Housing
Act 1996 
(England and Wales) and s.33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987.
1.4
In Re Betts (1983) the House of Lords considered the application of the referral
arrangements agreed between the local authority associations. Their Lordships
decided that a rigid application of the arrangements would constitute a fetter on an
authority’s discretion. The agreement could be taken into account, and applied as a
guideline, provided its application to each case is given individual consideration.

2
DEFINITIONS
2.1
All references in this agreement to an “applicant” are to be taken as references to a
housing applicant to whom s.193 of the Housing Act 1996 (England and Wales) or
s.28 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 or s.31 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 would apply
but for the decision to refer the case to another authority. For the purposes of this
agreement the 1996 Act and 1987 (Scotland) Act definitions apply.
2.2
The authority to whom the applicant applies for accommodation or assistance (for the
purposes of s.183 Housing Act 1996 or s.28 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987) and which
decides to refer the case to another authority is the “notifying authority”.
2.3 
Where the notifying authority consider that neither the applicant nor any person who
might reasonably reside with the applicant, has a local connection with its district but
does have one with another local authority district and notifies the other local authority
of its opinion, the authority which they notify is known as the “notified authority”.
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2.4
Section 199 Housing Act 1996 and s.27 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 set out the
circumstances when a person may have a “local connection” with a district. These
guidelines provide a framework within which the local connection referral procedures
may be applied.
3
CRITERIA FOR NOTIFICATION
3.1
Before a local authority can consider referring an applicant to another local authority
it must first be satisfied that the applicant is:
(i)
eligible for assistance
(ii) homeless, and
(iii) in priority need,
(iv) not homeless intentionally.
3.2
Before making a referral the notifying authority must be satisfied that the conditions
of referral are met. Broadly, the conditions for referral will be met if:
(a) neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to reside
with the applicant has a local connection with the district of the authority
receiving the application,
(b) either the applicant or any person who might reasonably be expected to reside
with the applicant has a local connection with the district of another authority in
England, Scotland or Wales
(c) neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to reside
with the applicant would run the risk of domestic violence/domestic abuse
(Scotland) or face a probability of other violence in the district of the other
authority (Refer to s.198 of the 1996 Act as amended by s.10 subsection (2&3)
Homelessness Act 2002 (England and Wales)). However, there are exceptions to
these conditions, for example, where an applicant applies to an English or Welsh
authority for assistance and has been provided with NASS support in Scotland
(d) For Welsh authorities only, the conditions for referral to another authority will
also be met if the applicant was placed in accommodation in the district of the
notifying authority by the other authority as a discharge of a duty to secure
accommodation under Part 7 of the 1996 Act following an application to the
other authority made within the last five years. The period of 5 years is prescribed
by the Homelessness (Wales) Regulations 2000 SI 2000 No.1079.)
3.3
3.2(a)(b) and (c) above apply to Scottish authorities. 3.2(d) above does not apply in
Scotland.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 230

3.4
In deciding whether or not to make a referral authorities should also consider the
court judgment in the case of R v LB Newham ex parte LB Tower Hamlets (1990). The
notifying authority should have regard to any decisions made by the notified authority
that may have a bearing on the case in question (e.g. a previous decision that the
applicant was intentionally homeless) as well as any other material considerations,
which should include the general housing circumstances prevailing in the district of
the notifying authority and in the district of the notified authority. The notifying
authority should also consider whether it is in the public interest to accept a duty to
secure accommodation under s.193(2) (England and Wales)
3.5
Should a local authority wish to accept a duty to secure accommodation for an
applicant who does not have a local connection with its district, nothing in this
agreement shall prevent the authority from providing such assistance. The decision to
make a referral is discretionary and could be challenged if the discretion was
considered to have been exercised unreasonably.
3.6
Under s.202 of the 1996 Act, housing applicants in England and Wales have the right
to request a review of certain decisions made by the local authority about their
application, including a decision to notify another authority under s.198 and a decision
that the conditions are met for referral of the case. The equivalent right to review in
Scotland is set out in s.4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.
4
LOCAL CONNECTION
4.1
The relevant date for deciding whether or not a local connection has been established
is not the date when the application for housing assistance was made but the date of
the decision or, if there is a review, the date of the review decision (cf. House of
Lords’ judgment in Mohamed v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council
2001
). Moreover, if inquiries prior to a decision have been prolonged, the notifying
authority should also consider whether there may have been any material change in
circumstances that might affect the question of whether a local connection has been
established. A local connection may be established where the following grounds apply,
subject to the exceptions outlined in paragraph 4.2:
(i)
the applicant or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with the
applicant is, or in the past was, normally resident in the district. It is suggested
that a working definition of “normal residence” should be residence for at least 6
months in the area during the previous 12 months, or for not less than 3 years
during the previous 5 year period. The period taken into account should be up to
the date of the authority’s decision. This should include any periods living in
temporary accommodation secured by the authority under s.188 (interim duty
pending inquiries);
(ii) the applicant or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with the
applicant is at present employed in the district. The local authority should obtain
confirmation from the employer that the person is in employment and that the
employment is not of a casual nature;
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Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

(iii) the applicant or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with the
applicant has family associations in the district. Family associations normally
arise where an applicant or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside
with the applicant has parents, adult children or brothers or sisters who have been
resident in the district for a period of at least 5 years at the date of the decision,
and the applicant indicates a wish to be near them. Only in exceptional
circumstances would the residence of relatives other than those listed above be
taken to establish a local connection. The residence of dependent children in a
different district from their parents would not be residence of their own choice
and therefore would not establish a local connection with that district. However, a
referral should not be made to another local authority on the grounds of a local
connection because of family associations if the applicant objects to those grounds.
NB: A Scottish authority, when considering the application of this clause, is
advised to bear in mind the definition of “family” in s.83 of the Housing
(Scotland) Act 1987 
as amended.
(iv) there are special circumstances which the authority considers establish a local
connection with the district. This may be particularly relevant where the applicant
has been in prison or hospital and his or her circumstances do not conform to the
criteria in (i) – (iii) above. Where, for example, an applicant seeks to return to a
district where he or she was brought up or lived for a considerable length of time
in the past, there may be grounds for considering that the applicant has a local
connection with that district because of special circumstances. An authority must
exercise its discretion when considering whether special circumstances apply.
4.2
A notifying authority should not refer an applicant to another authority on grounds of
a local connection because of special circumstances without the prior consent of the
notified authority. Alternatively, authorities may come to an informal arrangement in
such cases on a reciprocal basis, subject to the agreement of the applicants.
4.3
There are certain circumstances where a local connection is not established because of
residence or employment in a district. For these purposes:
(i)
a person is not employed in a district if he or she is serving in the Regular Armed
Forces of the Crown; and
(ii) residence in a district is not of a person’s own choice if he or she (or anyone who
might reasonably be expected to reside with them) becomes resident there
because he or she is serving in the Regular Armed Forces of the Crown or is
detained under the authority of any Act of Parliament (e.g. held in prison, or a
secure hospital).
4.4
For Welsh authorities only the conditions for referral to another authority are met if
the applicant was placed in accommodation in the district of the notifying authority by
the other authority as a discharge of a duty to secure accommodation under Part 7 of
the 1996 Act following an application to the other authority made within the last five
years. This is without prejudice to whether or not the applicant may have established a
local connection with a particular district.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 232

4.5
Former asylum seekers (England and Wales). Broadly, s.199(6) of the 1996 Act
(inserted by s.11 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) 
Act 2004 
(“the 2004 Act”)) (England and Wales) provides that a person has a local
connection with the district of a local housing authority if that person was provided
with accommodation there under s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (NASS
accommodation). Where a person has been provided with NASS accommodation in
more than one area, the local connection is with the area where accommodation was
last provided. A local connection with a district by virtue of s.199(6) does not override
a local connection by virtue of s.199(1). So, a former asylum seeker who has a local
connection with a district because he or she was provided with NASS accommodation
there could also have a local connection elsewhere for some other reason, for example,
because of employment or family associations.
4.6
Former asylum seekers (Scotland). Under s.27(2)(a)(iii) of the Housing (Scotland)
Act 2001
, as inserted by s.7 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003, residence in
accommodation provided in pursuance of s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
1999 
does not constitute a local connection as it is deemed to be residence which is
not of the applicant’s own choice. A local connection could be formed for other
reasons, such as family association.
4.7
Former asylum seekers (cross-border arrangements). If a former asylum seeker
who was provided with asylum support in England or Wales seeks homelessness
assistance in Scotland the Scottish local authority could refer the application to
another area where a local connection is established, if there was no local connection
with the authority applied to. However under Scottish legislation, a local connection
would not be formed by virtue of residence in accommodation provided in pursuance
of s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
4.8
This paragraph explains the position where a former asylum seeker who was provided
with asylum support in Scotland seeks homelessness assistance in England or Wales.
The provisions of s.11(2) and (3) of the 2004 Act provide that where a local housing
authority in England or Wales are satisfied that an applicant is eligible for assistance,
unintentionally homeless and in priority need, the s.193 duty to secure accommodation
does not apply if the authority are satisfied that the applicant: has been provided with
s.95 accommodation in Scotland at any time and does not have a local connection
anywhere in England and Wales (within the meaning of s.199(1) of the 1996 Act) or
anywhere in Scotland (within the meaning of s.27 of the Housing (Scotland) Act
1987
). However, the authority may secure that accommodation is available for the
applicant for a period giving him a reasonable opportunity of securing accommodation
for himself, and provide the applicant (or secure that he is provided with) advice and
assistance in any attempts he may make to secure accommodation for himself.
4.9
Subject to paragraphs 4.6 to 4.9 above (former asylum seekers), once the local
authority is satisfied that the applicant is eligible, unintentionally homeless, falls
within a priority need category, and does not have a local connection with the district ,
the authority may notify another authority under s.198 Housing Act 1996 or s.33
Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, provided it is satisfied that all the conditions for referral
set out in paragraph 3.3 above are met.
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4.10
Once the local authority has established that the applicant is eligible, homeless, in a
priority need category, not intentionally homeless and does not have any local
connection in its own area it may notify another authority under s.198 Housing Act
1996 
or s.33 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, provided it has satisfied itself that a local
connection with the notified authority exists and that no member of the household
would be at risk of domestic violence or threat of domestic violence in returning to
that area. In determining whether or not there is such a risk authorities should have
regard, where relevant, to the advice in the Homelessness Code of Guidance.
4.11
The notifying authority must consider that neither the applicant nor any person who
might reasonably be expected to reside with the applicant has any local connection
with its own district but does have a local connection with another local authority
district in England, Scotland or Wales, in accordance with the criteria and exceptions
listed above. The strength of local connection is irrelevant except where an applicant
has no local connection with the notifying authority’s district but has a local
connection with more than one other local authority district. In such a scenario, the
notifying authority must weigh up all the relevant factors in deciding to which
authority it would be appropriate to refer the applicant. 
4.12
Any relevant changes in an applicant’s circumstances, e.g. obtaining employment,
will need to be taken into account in determining whether the applicant has a local
connection. Authorities should always consider whether special circumstances
may apply.
5
PROCEDURES PRIOR TO MAKING A REFERRAL
5.1
If an authority considers that the conditions for referral s.198 Housing Act 1996 or
s.33 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 are likely to be met in a particular case it should
make any necessary enquiries in the area/s where there may be a local connection.
This should be undertaken as soon as possible. An authority that is considering
making a referral must investigate all the circumstances of the case with the same
thoroughness as if it were not considering a referral. 
5.2
The notifying authority has a duty under s.200(1)(England and Wales) or s.34 Housing
(Scotland) Act 1987 
to ensure that suitable accommodation is available for occupation
by the applicant until the question of whether the conditions for referral are met have
been decided.
5.3
Under section 184(4) Housing Act 1996 or s.34 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, if a
housing authority notify, or intend to notify another authority that they consider that
the conditions for referral of a case are met, the authority must notify the applicant of
this decision, and the reasons for it, at the same time. For English and Welsh
authorities, under s.184(5) of the 1996 Act, the notice must also inform the applicant
of his right, under s.202, to request a review of the decision and that any request must
be made within 21 days (or such longer period as the authority allows in writing).
Regulations made under s.203 of the 1996 Act set out the procedure to be followed
when making a review and the period within which a request for review must be
carried out and the decision made. The Allocation of Housing and Homelessness
(Review Procedures) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999 No. 71) 
establishes for England and
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 234

Wales the period within which the review must be carried out and the decision made.
For England and Wales s.204 of the 1996 Act gives applicants the right to appeal to
the county court on a point of law if dissatisfied with the decision on the review (or
the initial decision, if a review decision is not made within the prescribed time limit).
5.4
Scottish local authorities have a duty to review homelessness decisions under s. 35A
of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by s. 4 of the Housing (Scotland) 
Act 2001
. This process does not affect the rights of a homeless applicant to seek
judicial review or to seek the redress of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
5.5
Once the notifying authority is has decided that the applicant is eligible,
unintentionally homeless, and in priority need, there is no provision for the notified
authority to challenge the decision other than judicial review in the High Court. The
local authority associations’ disputes procedure should be used only where there is a
disagreement over the question of whether the conditions for referral are met and not
for resolving disagreement on any other matter.
6
MAKING THE NOTIFICATION
6.1
All notifications and arrangements concerning an applicant should be made by
telephone and then confirmed in writing. A specimen standard notification form is
attached, which authorities are advised to use. If telephone contact cannot be made a
fax or e-mail should be sent. Where the notified authority accepts the conditions for
referral are met, it should not wait for the receipt of written confirmation of
notification before making appropriate arrangements to secure accommodation for the
applicant and his or her household.
6.2
Each authority should nominate an officer responsible for making decisions about
applications notified by another authority. Appropriate arrangements should also be
put in place to ensure cover during any absences of the designated officer.
6.3
The notified authority should normally accept the facts of the case relating to residence,
employment, family associations etc., as stated by the notifying authority, unless they
have clear evidence to the contrary. It is the notifying authority’s duty to make
inquiries into the circumstances of homelessness with the same degree of care and
thoroughness before referring a case to another authority as it would for any other case.
6.4
Local authorities should try to avoid causing undue disruption to the applicant which
could arise from the operation of the criteria and procedures set out above. For
instance, where it is agreed that the conditions for referral are met two authorities
involved could agree, subject to the applicants’ consent, to enter into a reciprocal
arrangement so as to avoid having to move a household which may already have made
arrangements within the notifying authority’s area for schooling, medical treatment
etc. Such arrangements could involve provision via nominations to other social
housing providers such as registered social landlords. Authorities are reminded that
there is no requirement to refer applicants to another authority even where it is agreed
that the conditions for referral are met.
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6.5
Once written confirmation of notification has been received the notified authority
should, within 10 days, reply to the notifying authority. If, despite reminders, there is
an unreasonable delay by the notified authority in formally responding to the
notification, the notifying authority may ask its local authority association to intercede
on its behalf.
7
ARRANGEMENTS FOR SECURING ACCOMMODATION
7.1
As soon as the notifying authority has advised the applicant that it intends to notify, or
has already notified, another authority that it considers that the conditions for referral
are met, the notifying authority has a duty (under s.200 (1) of the 1996 Act) (England
and Wales) and s.34 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to secure accommodation until the
applicant is informed of the decision whether the conditions for referral are met.
During this period ,the notifying authority also has a duty (under s.211) (England and
Wales) and s.36 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to take reasonable steps for the
protection of property belonging to the applicant or anyone who might reasonably be
expected to reside with the applicant.
7.2.1 When it has been decided whether the conditions for referral are met the notifying
authority must inform the applicant of the decision and the reason for it (s.200(2),
England and Wales or s.34 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987). The applicant must
also be informed of his right to ask for a review of the decision and that any request
must be made within 21 days or such longer period as the authority may allow in
writing
7.2.2 If it is decided that the conditions for referral are not met, under s.200(3) England and
Wales or s.34(2) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 the notifying authority will be
subject to the s.193 duty (England and Wales) or s.31 of the Housing (Scotland) Act
1987 
and must ensure that suitable accommodation is available for the applicant.
7.2.3 If it is decided that the conditions for referral are met, under s.200(4) or s.34(2) of the
Housing (Scotland) Act 1987), the notified authority will be subject to the s.193 duty
(England and Wales) s.31 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 and must ensure that
suitable accommodation is available for the applicant.
7.3
The local authority associations recommend that once a notified authority has
accepted that the conditions of referral are met it shall reimburse the notifying
authority for any expenses which may reasonably have been incurred in providing
temporary accommodation, including protection of property. If the notifying authority
unduly delays advising an authority of its intention to refer an applicant then the
notified authority shall only be responsible for expenses incurred after the receipt of
notification. In normal circumstances a period of more than 30 working days,
commencing from the date when the notifying authority had reason to believe that the
applicant may be homeless or threatened with homelessness and commenced inquiries
under s.184, (England & Wales), s.28 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, should be
considered as constituting undue delay.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 236

8.
RIGHT OF REVIEW OF REFERRAL DECISIONS (England and Wales)
8.1
Under s.202(1)(c) Housing Act 1996, applicants in England and Wales have the right
to request a review of any decision by the authority to notify another authority of its
opinion that the conditions for referral are met. And, under s.202(1)(d), applicants in
England and Wales have the right to request a review of any decision whether the
conditions for referral are met. In Scotland (under s.34(3A) and s.35A(2)(b) of the
Housing (Scotland) Act 1987) as inserted by s.4 of the Housing Scotland Act 2001 the
applicant must be notified that they can request a review of any decision to refer their
case to another authority, any determination reached following referral and the time
within which this request should be made – the authority should also notify the
applicant of advice and assistance available to him in connection with this review. In
both cases the request for review will be made to the notifying authority.
9
STATUTORY PROCEDURE ON REVIEW
9.1
Review procedure for England – The procedural requirements for a review are set
out in the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations
1999 
(SI 1999 No.71).
9.2
The notifying authority shall notify the applicant:
(i)
that the applicant, or someone acting on the applicant’s behalf, may make written
representations,
(ii) of the review procedures
9.3
If the reviewer acting for the notifying authority considers that there is an irregularity
in the original decision, or in the manner in which it was made, but is nevertheless
minded to make a decision which is against the interests of the applicant, the reviewer
shall notify the applicant:
(i)
that the reviewer is so minded, and the reasons why
(ii) that the applicant, or someone acting on the applicant’s behalf, may make further
written or oral representations.
9.4
In carrying out a review the reviewer shall:
(i)
consider any representations made by, or on behalf of, the applicant,
(ii) consider any further written or oral representations made by, or on behalf of, the
applicant in response to a notification referred to in paragraph 9.2 (b) above
(iii) make a decision on the basis of the facts known at the date of the review.
9.5
The applicant should be notified of the decision on a review within:
eight weeks from the date on which a request for review was made under s.202(1)(c),
ten weeks from the date on which a request for review was made under s.202(1)(d),
or such longer period as the applicant may agree in writing.
9.6
Review procedure for Scotland – Procedures are set out in s.35A and s.35B of the
Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. Good practice guidance on the procedures is set out in
Chapter 11 of the Code of Guidance on Homelessness.
237
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9.7
Review Procedure for Wales. The procedures are set out in The Allocation of
Housing and Homelessness ( Review Procedures) Regulations 1999 
(SI 1999 No 71).
9.8
Where the decision under review is a joint decision by the notifying housing authority
and the notified housing authority s202 (4) requires that the review should be carried
out jointly by the two housing authorities.
9.9
The notifying authority shall notify the applicant:
(i)
that the applicant, or someone acting on the applicant’s behalf, may make written
representations,
(ii) of the review procedures
9.10
If the reviewer acting for the notifying authority considers that there is an irregularity
in the original decision, or in the manner in which it was made, but is nevertheless
minded to make a decision which is against the interests of the applicant, the reviewer
shall notify the applicant:
(i)
that the reviewer is so minded, and the reasons why
(ii) that the applicant, or someone acting on the applicant’s behalf, may make further
written and/or oral representations.
9.11
In carrying out a review the reviewer shall:
(i)
consider any representations made by, or on behalf of, the applicant,
(ii) consider any further written or oral representations made by, or on behalf of, the
applicant in response to a notification referred to in paragraph 9.9 (ii) above
(iii) make a decision on the basis of the facts known at the date of the review.
9.12
The applicant should be notified of the decision on a review within:
(i)
eight weeks from the date on which a request for review, where the original
decision was made by the housing authority,
(ii) ten weeks from the date on which a request for review was made where the
decision was made jointly by two housing authorities
(iii) twelve weeks, where the decision is taken by a person appointed pursuant to the
Schedule to the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998
No.1578).
In all these cases it is open to the reviewer to seek the applicant’s agreement to an
extension of the proscribed period; any such agreement must be given in writing.
10
DISPUTES BETWEEN AUTHORITIES
10.1
The Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals (Scotland) Order 1998 and the
Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No.1578) (England and
Wales) set out the arrangements for determining whether the conditions for referral
are met, should the notifying and the notified authority fail to agree. These
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 238

arrangements allow the question to be decided either by a person agreed between the
two authorities concerned or, in default of such agreement, by a person appointed
from a panel established by the LGA.
10.2
Where a notified authority considers the conditions for referral are not met it should
write to the notifying authority giving its reasons in full, within 10 days. The letter
should contain all the reasons for its opinion, to avoid delaying the appointment of a
referee and to minimise any inconvenience for the applicant.
10.3
Where two authorities cannot reach agreement on whether the conditions for referral
are met they must seek to agree on a referee who will make the decision. CoSLA and
the LGA have jointly established an independent panel of referees for this purpose.
A referee should be appointed within 21 days of the notified authority receiving
the notification.
10.4
Authorities invoking the disputes procedure should, having first agreed on the
proposed referee, establish that he or she is available and willing to accept the case.
Each authority is then responsible for providing the referee with such information as
he or she requires to reach a decision, making copies of the submission available to
the applicant and ensuring prompt payment of fees and expenses. Sections 10-19
(Guidelines for Invoking the Disputes Procedure) set out in greater detail the
requirements and timescale for the disputes procedure.
10.5
Authorities invoking the disputes procedure should be bound by the decision of the
referee, including the apportionment of fees and expenses, subject to a further
decision by a referee where the applicant asks for a review of the initial decision.
10.6
If the authorities are unable to agree on the choice of a referee, they must jointly
request that CoSLA (for Scottish authorities) or the LGA (for English or Welsh
authorities) appoint a referee on their behalf as outlined in paragraph 10.8 below.
10.7
If a referee has not been appointed within six weeks of the notified authority receiving
the referral the notifying authority may request CoSLA or the LGA, as appropriate, to
appoint a referee as outlined in paragraph 10.8 below.
10.8
Where two authorities fail to agree on the appointment of a referee CoSLA (if the
dispute is between Scottish authorities) or the LGA (if the dispute is between English
or Welsh authorities) may appoint a referee from the panel. Where the notified
authority is Scottish then the local authority association responsible for appointing a
referee will be CoSLA, even if the notifying authority is in England or Wales. The
LGA will be the responsible association if the notified authority is English or Welsh.
10.9
The local authority associations should only be involved in the direct appointment of
referees as a last resort. Under normal circumstances authorities should jointly agree
the arrangements between themselves in accordance with the Guidelines for Invoking
the Disputes Procedure.
239
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PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS OF HOMELESS APPLICANTS
ON THE GROUNDS OF LOCAL CONNECTON WITH ANOTHER
LOCAL AUTHORITY

GUIDELINES FOR INVOKING THE DISPUTES PROCEDURE
AGREED BY
ASSOCIATION OF LONDON GOVERNMENT (ALG)
CONVENTION OF SCOTTISH LOCAL AUTHORITIES (CoSLA)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (LGA)
WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (WLGA)
(“the local authority associations”)
11
DETERMINING DISPUTES
11.1
The local authority associations have been concerned to establish an inexpensive,
simple, speedy, fair and consistent way of resolving disputes between authorities
arising from the referral of homeless applicants under s.198 Housing Act 1996
(England and Wales). In Scotland the provisions of s.33 Housing (Scotland) Act
1987 
apply.
11.2
For the purpose of this Disputes procedure, arbitrators are referred to as “referees”.
Referees will not normally be entitled to apply the criteria set out in this agreed
procedure without the consent of the local authorities involved in the dispute. Where
the issues in the case are evenly balanced, referees may have regard to the wishes of
the applicant.
11.3
In determining disputes referees will need to have regard to:
a) for English and Welsh authorities
• Part VII Housing Act 1996
• regulation 6 of the Homelessness Regulations1996 (SI 1996 No. 2754) for Wales
• the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No. 1578)
• the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations
1999 (SI 1999 No.71)
• Code of Guidance for Local Authorities on Allocation of Accommodation and
Homelessness 2003 (Wales) – currently under review
• Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 2006 (England)
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 240

b) for Scottish authorities
• Housing (Scotland) Act 1987
• the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) (Scotland) Order 1998
• the Persons subject to Immigration Control (Housing Authority Accommodation
and Homelessness) Order 2000 (SI 2000 706)
• Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003
• Code of Guidance on Homelessness: Guidance on legislation, policies and
practices to prevent and resolve homelessness 2005 (Scotland)
c) for all authorities
• the Procedures for s.198 (Local Connection) Homeless Referrals: Guidelines for
Local Authorities and Referees produced by the local authority associations
• Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004
11.4
Where there is a cross border dispute between a Scottish authority and an English or
Welsh authority then the legislation relevant to the location of the notified authority
should be applied in determining whether the conditions for referral are met.
11.5
Scottish authorities need to be aware of any orders exercised by s.8 of the
Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003 that may effect referrals between Scottish
authorities in the future.
12
ARRANGEMENTS FOR APPOINTING REFEREES
12.1
Referees will be approached by the authorities in dispute, both of which must agree
that the referee should be invited to accept the appointment, to establish whether they
are willing and able to act in a particular dispute. The referee should be appointed
within 21 days of the notified authority receiving the referral. If the local authorities
are unable to agree on the choice of referee they should contact CoSLA or the LGA,
as appropriate, in accordance with section 10 of the Guidelines for Local Authorities
on Procedures for Referral.
12.2
A referee will be given an initial indication of the reason for the dispute by the
relevant authorities or the local authority association. The referee’s jurisdiction is
limited to the issue of whether the conditions for referral are met.
12.3
A referee must not have any personal interest in the outcome of the dispute and should
not accept the appointment if he or she is, or was, employed by, or is a council tax
payer in, one of the disputing local authorities, or if he or she has any connection with
the applicant.
241
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

13
PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING THE DISPUTE
13.1
The general procedures to be followed by a referee in determining a dispute are
outlined in the Schedule to the Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals) Order 1998
(SI 1998 No. 1578). (England and Wales) and SI 1998 No.1603 (Scotland). It is
recommended that the following, more detailed, procedures are applied to all cases.
13.2
Following appointment, the referee shall invite the notifying and notified authorities to
submit written representations within a period of fourteen working days, specifying
the closing date, and requiring them to send copies of their submission to the
applicant and to the other authority involved in the dispute. Authorities must have the
opportunity to see each other’s written statements, and should be allowed a further
period of ten working days to comment thereon before the referee proceeds to
determine the issue. The referee may also invite further written representations from
the authorities, if considered necessary.
13.3
The homeless applicant to whom the dispute relates is not a direct party to the dispute
but the referee may invite written or oral representations from the applicant, or any
other person, which is proper and relevant to the issue. Where the referee invites
representations from a person they may be made by another person acting on the
person’s behalf, whether or not the other person is legally qualified.
13.4
The disputing authorities should make copies of their submissions available to the
applicant. The authorities should have the opportunity to comment on any information
from the applicant (or any other source) upon which the referee intends to rely in
reaching his/her decision.
13.5
Since the applicant’s place of abode is in question, and temporary accommodation and
property storage charges may be involved, it is important that a decision should be
reached as quickly as possible – normally within a month of the receipt of the written
representations and comments from the notifying and notified authority. This period
will commence at the end of the process described in point 13.2. In the last resort, a
referee may determine a dispute on the facts before him/her if one authority has, after
reminders, failed to present its case without reasonable cause.
14
ORAL HEARINGS
14.1
Where an oral hearing is necessary or more convenient (e.g. where the applicant is
illiterate, English is not his/her first language or further information is necessary to
resolve issues in dispute), it is suggested that the notifying authority should be invited
to present its case first, followed by the notified authority and any other persons
whom the referee wishes to hear. The applicant may be invited to provide information
on relevant matters. The authorities should then be given a right to reply to earlier
submissions.
14.2
The referee’s determination must be in writing even when there is an oral hearing.
The referee will have to arrange the venue for the hearing and it is suggested that the
offices of the notifying authority would often be the most convenient location.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 242

14.3
Where a person has made oral representations the referee may direct either or both
authorities to pay reasonable travelling expenses. The notifying and notified
authorities will pay their own costs.
15
NOTIFICATION OF DETERMINATION
15.1
The written decision of the referee should set out:
(a) the issue(s) which he has been asked to determine
(b) the findings of fact which are relevant to the question(s) in issue
(c) the decision
(d) the reasons for the decision.
The referee’s determination is binding upon the participating local authorities, subject
to the applicant’s right to ask for a review of the decision under s.202 of the 1996 Act
(and possible right of appeal to the county court on a point of law under s.204). The
statutory right to review does not apply to Scottish legislation.
16
COSTS OF DETERMINATION
16.1
Referees will be expected to provide their own secretarial services and to obtain their
own advice on points of law. The cost of so doing, however, will be costs of the
determination and recoverable as such.
17
CIRCULATION OF DETERMINATION
17.1
Referees should send copies of the determination to both disputing authorities and to
the LGA. The LGA will circulate copies to other members of the Panel of Referees as
an aid to settling future disputes and promoting consistency in decisions.
17.2
The notifying authority should inform the applicant of the outcome promptly.
18
PAYMENT OF FEES AND COSTS
18.1
The local authority associations recommend a flat rate fee of £500 per determination
(including determinations made on a review) which should be paid in full and as
speedily as possible after the determination has been received. However, in
exceptional cases where a dispute takes a disproportionate time to resolve, a referee
may negotiate a higher fee. In addition, the referee may claim the actual cost of any
travelling, secretarial or other incidental expenses which s/he has incurred, including
any additional costs arising from the right of review or the right of appeal to a county
court on a point of law.
18.2
The LGA will determine such additional fees as may be appropriate for any additional
work which may subsequently arise should there be a further dispute or appeal after
the initial determination has been made or should a referee be party to an appeal,
under s.204 Housing Act 1996, to the county court on a point of law.
243
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

18.3
The referee’s fees and expenses, and any third party costs, would normally be
recovered from the unsuccessful party to the dispute, although a referee may choose to
apportion expenses between the disputing authorities if he considers it warranted.
Referees are advised, when issuing invoices to local authorities, to stipulate that
payment be made within 28 days.
19
REOPENING A DISPUTE
19.1
Once a determination on a dispute is made, a referee is not permitted to reopen the
case, even though new facts may be presented to him or her, unless a fresh
determination is required to rectify an error arising from a mistake or omission.
20
RIGHT OF REVIEW OF REFEREE’S DECISION
20.1
Section 202(1)(d) Housing Act 1996 gives an applicant the right to request a review of
any decision made under these procedures. The right to review does not apply to
Scottish legislation.
20.2
If an applicant asks for a review of a referee’s decision the notifying and notified
authority must, within five working days, appoint another referee (“the reviewer”)
from the panel. This applies even if the original referee was appointed by the LGA.
The reviewer must be a different referee from the referee who made the initial
decision. If the two authorities fail to appoint a reviewer within this period then the
notifying authority must, within five working days, request the LGA to appoint a
reviewer and the LGA must do so within seven days of the request.
20.3
The authorities are required to provide the reviewer with the reasons for the initial
decision, and the information on which the decision is based, within five working days
of his or her appointment. The two authorities should decide between them who will
be responsible for notifying the applicant of the reviewer’s decision, once received.
21
STATUTORY PROCEDURE ON REVIEW
21.1
The procedural requirements for a review are set out in the Allocation of Housing and
Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999 
(SI 1999 No.71).
21.2
The reviewer is required to:
(i)
notify the applicant that he or she, or someone acting on his or her behalf, may
make written representations,
(ii) notify the applicant of the review procedures, and
(iii) send copies of the applicant’s representations to the two authorities and invite
them to respond.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 244

21.3
If the reviewer considers that there is an irregularity in the original decision, or in the
manner in which it was made, but is nevertheless minded to make a decision which is
against the interests of the applicant, the reviewer shall notify the applicant:
(a) that the reviewer is so minded and the reasons why, and
(b) that the applicant, or someone acting on his behalf, may make further written or
oral representations.
21.4
In carrying out a review, the reviewer is required to:
(i)
consider any representations made by, or on behalf of, the applicant,
(ii) consider any responses to (i) above,
(iii) consider any further written or oral representations made by, or on behalf of, the
applicant in response to a notification referred to in paragraph 21.3 (b), and
(iv) make a decision on the basis of the facts known at the date of the review.
21.5
The applicant should be notified of the decision on a review within twelve weeks from
the date on which the request for the review was made, or such longer period as the
applicant may agree in writing. The two authorities should be advised in writing of the
decision on the review, and the reasons for it, at least a week before the end of the
period 
in order to allow them adequate time to notify the applicant. Copies of the
decision should also be sent to the LGA.
245
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS OF HOMELESS APPLICANTS
ON THE GROUNDS OF LOCAL CONNECTON WITH ANOTHER
LOCAL AUTHORITY

STANDARD NOTIFICATION FORM
AGREED BY
ASSOCIATION OF LONDON GOVERNMENT (ALG)
CONVENTION OF SCOTTISH LOCAL AUTHORITIES (CoSLA)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (LGA)
WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (WLGA)
(“the local authority associations”)
A
NOTIFYING AUTHORITY DETAILS
Contact Name 
Authority 
Telephone Number 
Fax Number 
E-mail 
Address for Correspondence 
B
APPLICANT DETAILS
Name of Main Applicant 
Date of Birth 
Current Address 
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 246

C
FAMILY MEMBERS
Name
Relationship
Date of Birth
D
ADDRESSES IN LAST 5 YEARS (include dates and type of tenure)
247
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

E
PRESENT/PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT DETAILS
Employer Tel 
No 
Address 
Contact Name 
Job Title 
Previous Employer 
Date from 
Date to 
Address 
F
REASONS FOR HOMELESSNESS
H
PRIORITY NEED CATEGORY
I
LOCAL CONNECTION DETAILS
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 248

J
WISHES OF THE APPLICANT(S) (in the context of the referral)
K
THE NOTIFYING AUTHORITY CONSIDER THE CONDITIONS FOR
REFERRAL ARE MET BECAUSE:

L
ANY SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
(attach supporting documentation if relevant)

I confirm that, in accordance with s.198 Housing Act 1996, this authority considers that
neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to reside with
the applicant would run the risk of domestic violence or face a probability of other
violence in the district of your authority, if this referral is made.

Signed 
Date 
249
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

INDEX
accommodation out of district, 16.7–16.9,
17.15
Locators for the main body of the text are in
See also local connection; referrals
chapter and paragraph form (eg 14.16); the
accreditation schemes, 1.28, 2.12, 3.15,
introduction is indicated by ‘int’ (eg int.5 is
183an, 185an
paragraph number 5 of the introduction);
Achieving timely simple discharge from
the annexes are indicated by ‘an’ after the
hospital: A toolkit for the multi-
locator (eg 173an is for an annex on page
disciplinary team (Department of
173). The table in paragraph 2.23 is referred
Health 2004), 190an
to as 2.23tab. Information in footnotes is
action plans, 1.40, 5.6, 190an
indicated by ‘n’ (eg 5.19n). The index does
acts or omissions in good faith, 11.6, 11.14,
not cover the overview or annex 18.
11.15, 11.20–11.21
adaptation of accommodation, 2.12, 5.21
adopted children, 8.20, 10.8
A
Adoption Act (1976), 8.20
advice and assistance, 2.23tab, 4.12, 5.7,
16 and 17 year olds, 2.21, 8.13, 10.33,
7.8, 15.4, 16.2, 16.32–16.36, 21.11
12.1–12.2, 12.7–12.9, 174an
accessibility, 6.8, 6.10
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodation,
asylum seekers, 18.22, 191an
12.4, 16.28, 17.33
duty, 14.4, 14.11, 14.13, 14.26, 14.28,
care and support needs, 4.11, 6.19,
14.31, 15.5, 15.17
12.12–12.15
intentional homelessness, 11.3a, 13.3,
Children Act (1989), 5.17, 10.2,
14.28, 14.29, 14.30, 14.31, 15.17
10.36–10.39, 12.2–12.6
from landlords, 2.23, 178an
collusion, 8.12, 11.22, 12.10–12.11
preventing homelessness, 2.4, 2.11, 6.3,
lone parents, 6.19, 12.16–12.17
8.3, 10.1, 14.2, 14.5, 186an
24-hour emergency cover arrangements, 6.8,
to prisoners, 188–189an
6.9
to social services authorities, 13.9–13.10
abandonments, 3.20, 178an
advice and information, 1.17, 2.1, 2.9–2.20,
abuse, 8.10, 8.21, 16.25
2.23tab, 4.8, 14.3, 173an, 185an
of young people, 1.15, 2.14, 8.13, 10.33,
to armed forces personnel, 189–190an,
12.7, 12.8
8.33, 10.22
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, 178an,
from Connexions, 181an, 184an
187an
contracting out, 21.3, 21.6
accessibility, int.7, 2.16, 6.9
duty, 6.3
Accession (Immigration and Worker
equal access to, int.9, int.10, 2.16,
Registration) Regulations (2004), 9.14,
6.9–6.10, 191an
203–204an, 211an, 212an
advice services, 1.21, 1.24, 1.27, 2.6
accession state workers, 9.14, 9.25,
records of, 1.14
204–205an, 211–215an
See also advice and assistance; advice
Accession states, 200an, 203–204an,
and information
211–215an
advocacy support, 1.24, 2.23tab
accommodation available for occupation see
affordability of accommodation, 8.29, 17.1,
available for occupation,
17.30
accommodation
criteria, 17.39–17.40
accommodation centres for asylum seekers,
affordable accommodation, 1.17, 1.22, 1.28,
18.4, 18.19, 18.22
2.10, 3.3, 3.5, 3.8–3.12, 8.11, 173an
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
250

Affordable Housing Programme (Housing
Arms Length Management Organisations,
Corporation), 3.8
1.44, 21.10
age discrimination, int.12
arrears see mortgage arrears; rent arrears
age factors, 1.16, 10.16, 11.15
assessment of housing needs, 1.5, 4.5, 5.21,
See also 16 and 17 year olds; babies;
6.16, 14.4, 21.11
children; elderly people; young
mental illness, 5.27, 10.16–10.17
people
of offenders, 10.26, 180an, 188an
AIDS and HIV-related illnesses, 10.32
See also joint assessments; priority need;
alcohol abuse problems, 1.15, 1.24, 2.14,
vulnerable people
4.3, 10.16, 10.31, 16.7, 184an, 186an
Association of London Government, 3.21,
alcohol services, 4.15
18.34
Allocation of Housing and Homelessness
assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), 3.16,
(Eligibility) (England) Regulations
3.18, 14.18, 16.21, 16.22, 16.40, 16.42,
2006 (SI 2006 No 1294) (eligibility
191an
regulations), 9.1–9.2, 9.5, 9.8, 9.10,
ending of, 2.23tab, 3.14, 8.32, 11.20a,
9.12, 9.13, 193an, 201an
185an
Allocation of Housing and Homelessness
offers of, 14.20–14.21, 14.22, 16.5,
(Review Procedures) Regulations (SI
16.20
1999 No. 71), 19.7
assured tenancies, 3.22, 14.18, 16.18, 16.21,
allocation policies
16.22, 177an
of housing authorities, 1.17
Asylum and Immigration Act (1996), 9.6
of RSLs, 180an
Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
allocation schemes, 5.12, 14.16, 14.18,
Claimants, etc.) Act (2004), 18.4,
15.6, 16.5, 16.6, 16.13, 17.30, 175an
18.18–18.20, 18.22
statements, 6.24, 14.9, 14.16
asylum seekers, 9.11–9.12, 17.43–17.44,
amenity standards, 17.22, 17.37
181–182an, 190–191an, 192an,
anti-social behaviour, 5.4, 11.17, 17.23,
193–195an
178an, 181an, 186–187an
failed, 9.22
Anti-social Behaviour Orders, 178an, 187an
local connection, 18.4, 18.18–18.22
Anti-social Behaviour Teams, 181an
See also National Asylum Support
appeals to county courts, 9.3, 15.2, 15.3,
Service
15.21–15.24, 19.19, 19.21–19.24, 19.27
at risk groups, 1.15, 2.6, 2.21–2.22,
accommodation pending, 19.25
4.9–4.10, 4.13, 5.27, 10.32, 10.35
applications for assistance, 6.2–6.11,
See also priority need
6.26–6.27, 11.24, 14.25
Audit Commission, 166an
Approved Development Programme
availability of accommodation, 1.17, 1.27,
(Housing Corporation), 1.28, 3.8
3.2, 3.3, 11.3a, 11.18, 16.5
See also Affordable Housing Programme
available for occupation, accommodation,
(Housing Corporation)
14.15, 14.27, 15.4, 15.13, 15.18, 16.3,
armed forces personnel, 2.21, 8.33, 11.13a,
17.25
18.16, 189–190an
asylum seekers, 18.22
preventing homelessness, 1.21
guidance, 8.5–8.6
priority need, 10.2, 10.12, 10.21–10.23
records, 1.14
at risk group, 1.15, 1.17, 2.6, 4.9
251
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

B
causes of homelessness, 11.2, 1.16, 1.18,
1.44, 2.1, 2.10, 2.22, 2.23tab, 84–191an
babies, 4.18, 16.10
recurring homelessness, 2.4, 2.24–2.25
bail hostels, 17.20
review process, 1.21, 2.7, 4.7
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodation,
Centrepoint, 167an
7.11, 17.6, 17.20, 17.24–17.38, 193an
Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to
standards of, 17.36–17.38, 222–226an
Occupy Service Living Accommodation,
suitability, 7.6, 12.14, 16.28, 17.7,
8.33, 10.22, 189an
17.24–17.26, 17.28
photostats of, 218–219an
begging, 5.4
change of circumstances, 6.11, 6.26, 10.4,
behaviour
17.8, 17.31, 195an
disputes about, 2.23tab
Channel Islands, 9.10, 9.13, 9.14, 9.15,
problems with, 10.16, 11.3, 16.25,
9.16, 194an, 196an, 199an, 205an,
176an, 184an
206an, 207an, 209an
threatening, 8.21, 187an
charities, 4.15
See also anti-social behaviour
Chartered Institute of Housing, 168an,
benefits, 1.16, 11.16, 11.21, 17.39, 186an,
191an
192an
child care services, 4.15
delays in payment, 1.18, 2.10, 11.15,
child in need, 1.14, 1.24, 10.2, 10.36,
14.7
10.37–10.39, 12.2, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6,
support in accessing, 2.12, 2.23, 4.10,
13.4, 13.8
4.12, 178an, 181an, 188an
Child Support Act (1991), 17.39
See also housing benefit
children, 7.6, 8.6, 16.25, 17.13, 174an,
Best Value
177an, 184an, 186an
Performance Indicators (BVPIs), 2.15,
abuse of, 1.15, 2.14, 2.21, 8.13, 10.33,
8.25, 185an
12.7, 12.8
Reviews, 21.10
adopted, 8.20, 10.8
British overseas territories, 9.19–9.20
of asylum seekers, 9.22
Bed & Breakfast accommodation,
C
17.25–17.26
co-operation over, 5.13, 5.15–5.20, 7.12,
caravans, 8.4, 8.17, 16.30, 16.37, 17.39
11.23, 13.1–13.11
care homes, 10.19–10.20, 17.20
education, 3.4
care leavers, 1.14, 1.16, 1.17, 1.21, 2.23tab,
fostered, 8.5, 10.2, 10.8, 10.12,
4.11, 10.12, 188an
10.19–10.20, 10.40–10.41
duty under 1989 Act, 5.17
health care, 4.18, 5.28
‘relevant students’, 10.2, 10.19,
health care services, 16.10
10.40–10.41
local authority care, 10.40
at risk group, 1.7, 1.15, 2.6, 4.9
offenders, 10.24, 181an, 189an
support needs, 12.12
preventing homelessness, 2.5
care needs, 1.7, 12.12, 12.15, 12.17
priority need, 10.2, 10.6–10.11
care orders, 10.11, 10.19–10.20,
protection concerns, 2.14, 185an
10.40–10.41
social services records, 1.14
Care Programme Approach (CPA), 5.27,
support, 1.24, 4.6, 16.10
5.28, 10.17
See also 16 and 17 year olds; child in
cash incentive schemes, 1.28, 3.21
need; Children Act (1989); Children
Act (2004); children’s services
authorities; relevant children
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
252

Children Act (1989), 8.20, 10.19, 10.40,
collaboration see co-operation; joint
13.4–13.5, 13.8, 174an
working; partnerships
co-operation, 5.6, 5.9, 5.15–5.17
collusion, 8.12, 11.22, 12.11
See also 16 and 17 year olds: Children
Commission for Equality and Human
Act (1989)
Rights (CEHR), int.12
Children Act (2004), 5.9, 5.18–5.20, 13.2
Commission for Racial Equality, int.9,
Children and Young People’s Plans
168an
(CYPPs), 5.16, 5.20, 184an
Common Assessment Framework, 4.6, 5.18
Children and Young Persons Act (1969),
Common Council of the City of London,
10.24
5.19n
Children (Leaving Care) Regulations
Commonwealth citizens, 9.7
(2001), 10.37, 12.3
community care
children’s homes, 10.19–10.20, 10.40–10.41
assessments, 5.21, 16.25
children’s services authorities, 4.6, 4.15,
legislation, 5.6, 5.9, 5.21
10.38, 10.39, 12.4–12.6, 13.5
programmes, 1.24
definition of, 5.19n, 13.2n, 13.6n
services, 4.12, 5.21
See also social services authorities
community languages, int.10, 6.10, 191an
children’s trusts, 5.19, 180an, 184an, 186an,
Community Legal Service, 2.20
4.6n
Community Safety Teams, 181an
choice-based lettings schemes, 2.12, 3.23,
community sector services, 1.17, 1.29, 4.5,
6.3, 176an
4.15, 5.4, 5.6, 12.15, 16.4, 187an
chronic sickness, 10.32
examples of (list), 170–172an
Circular 06/98, 3.10, 3.11
See also voluntary sector organisations
Citizens Advice Bureaux, 2.20, 4.10
Comprehensive Performance Assessments,
civil partnerships, 8.20, 208an, 209an,
21.10
210an, 215an
Connexions, 1.21, 1.24, 1.29, 4.15, 184an
co-operation, 1.35–1.39, 4.17, 6.20, 16.23,
Contempt of Court Act (1981), 10.2, 10.24
21.6, 173an
contracting out, 2.18, 2.23tab, 21.1–21.13
in cases involving children, 5.16–5.17,
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities,
5.19, 13.1–13.11
18.34, 18.37
cross-boundary, 1.2, 1.3, 5.5, 5.14, 16.29
council tax discount on empty properties,
joint action protocols, 4.9
3.26
multi-agency, int.5, 1.35, 1.39, 4.15, 5.4,
county courts, 2.23tab, 9.3, 15.2, 15.3,
10.17
15.21–15.24, 19.19, 19.21–19.25, 19.27
RSLs, int.5, 1.36, 3.20, 5.4, 5.12,
County Court Act (1984), 10.24
16.18–16.19, 175–179an
county level authorities, 5.19, 13.2
social services authorities, 1.6–1.8, 1.39,
court orders, 8.7, 8.33, 10.9, 10.10, 11.20a,
5.4, 7.12
17.39
statutory framework, 5.9–5.24
courts, 8.6, 8.14, 8.31, 10.24
Supporting People, 4.14
See also county courts; court orders
See also joint working; partnerships
Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
Code of Practice on Racial Equality in
(CDRPs), 4.15, 5.6, 185an
Housing (Commission for Racial
Criminal Justice Intervention Teams, 10.26
Equality), int.9, 168an
Criminal Justice Services, 4.5, 12.15, 16.4
Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote
criminal justice system, 10.37, 12.3, 189an
Disability Equality (Disability Rights
cross-boundary partnerships, 1.2, 1.3, 5.5,
Commission), int.11, 168an
5.14, 16.9
cohabiting partners, 8.5, 8.20
custodial sentences see prisons
Cyprus, 200an, 211an
253
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

D
discretionary powers, 3.25, 3.26, 7.10, 7.13,
14.12, 14.27, 15.1–15.24, 17.21, 18.4,
day centres, 1.14, 1.24, 180an
20.11
debt, 1.15, 1.16, 4.3, 4.10, 14.4, 178an,
See also Housing Act (1996): powers
185an
discrimination, int.7, int.8, int.11–int.12
counselling and advice, 1.21, 2.12, 2.23,
district authorities, 1.3, 1.33, 5.19, 13.2
2.23tab, 178an, 186an
domestic violence, 1.15, 4.3, 6.17,
decisions, 6.7, 6.10, 6.11, 6.21–6.25, 7.9
8.19–8.25, 10.28–10.29, 10.34, 16.7,
See also reviews of decisions
17.6, 18.7, 18.26, 184an, 185an
deliberate acts or omissions, 11.6,
sanctuary schemes, 1.21, 2.23tab
11.10–11.17
Domestic Violence Fora, Local, 185an
demographic trends, 1.17
drug abuse problems, 1.15, 1.16, 5.4, 10.16,
demolition, 17.10
10.31, 16.7, 180an, 184an, 186an,
Department for Communities and Local
191an
Government (DCLG), 1.5, 164an
advice and support, 2.14, 4.3
See also Secretary of State for
Drug Action Teams, 1.29, 4.15, 181an,
Communities and Local Government
191an
Department for Education and Skills, 5.20,
Drug Intervention Programmes, 10.25
166an, 206an
duties of housing authorities, 16.22, 16.32,
Department of Health, 13.8, 166–167an,
19.4
190an
16 and 17 year olds, 12.1–12.17
deportation to the UK, 9.14, 9.21
advice and information/assistance, 2.1,
Deregulation and Contracting Out Act
2.9–2.20, 6.3, 14.4, 14.11, 14.26,
(1994), 21.2, 21.5–21.6, 21.8, 21.9
14.28, 14.31
direct access schemes, 4.13, 8.34
children, 13.1–13.11
direct placement schemes, private rented,
contracting out of, 21.1–21.13
16.44
decisions and notifications, 6.21–6.25,
Directors of Children’s Services, 5.18
19.3
disabilities, 1.16, 10.2, 10.12, 10.16, 10.18,
determining homelessness, 8.1–8.34
10.32, 11.15, 14.4, 17.5
eligibility for assistance, 9.1–9.25
discrimination, int.7, int.11, int.12
equality and diversity, int.7–int.13
learning, 1.24, 10.12, 10.16, 10.18, 16.9
homelessness reviews, 1.11–1.30, 4.7
Disability Discrimination Act (1995), int.11,
homelessness strategies, int.6, 1.1–1.5,
10.18
1.9–1.10, 1.31–1.44, 2.7–2.8, 4.8,
Disability Discrimination Act (2005), int.11
5.2
Disability Equality Schemes, int.11
See also homelessness strategies
Disability Rights Commission, 168an,
inquiries, 2.3, 6.2, 6.4, 6.12–6.20, 6.27,
int.11, int.12
7.7, 8.2, 10.3
disabled facilities grants, 1.28, 3.28
See also inquiries
Discharge from hospital: pathway, process
intentional homelessness, 4.28–4.31,
and practice (Department of Health
11.3–11.24, 14.13
2003), 190an
See also intentional homelessness
Discretionary Housing Payment (Grant)
interim duty, 6.5, 7.1–7.13, 11.24, 16.21,
Order (2001), 16.20
17.7, 18.3, 20.3
discretionary housing payments (DHP),
See also interim duty to accommodate
16.20, 191an
main homelessness duty, 3.3, 3.22, 4.5,
6.24, 10.2, 10.4, 14.15–14.25, 16.5,
16.6, 18.2
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
254

preventing homelessness, 2.1, 2.7–2.27,
asylum seekers, 18.20
6.3, 10.1
equality and diversity, int.8, int.12
priority need, 10.1–10.42, 11.2–11.3
location of accommodation, 17.41
protection of personal property,
low paid, 17.40
20.2–20.3, 20.11
support, 184an, 188an
referrals to other housing authorities,
See also jobseekers; workers from abroad
18.27–18.31
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations
social services assistance, 1.6
(2006), int.12
suitability of accommodation,
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief)
17.1–17.45
Regulations (2003), int.12
threatened with homelessness,
Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation)
14.5–14.13
(Amendment) Regulations (2003),
int.12
Employment Service (Jobcentre Plus), 1.24,
E
4.10, 4.15, 181an
earnings orders, 2.23
employment services, 1.21, 1.24, 1.26, 2.8,
economy, local, 1.17, 1.44
4.16
education and training, 1.21, 2.8, 4.15, 4.16,
Empty Dwelling Management Orders, 3.25
4.20, 5.17, 5.24, 10.7, 184an
empty properties (private sector), 3.24–3.26,
access to, 16.10, 17.41, 188an
3.27
impact of homelessness on, 2.5
English not first language, 2.16, 6.10, 14.4,
See also ‘relevant students’
int.7
Effective care co-ordination in mental
Equal Opportunities Commission, int.12
health services: modernising the care
Equalities Act (2006), int.12
programme approach (DH, 1999),
equality and diversity, int.7, int.7–int.13
10.17
Equality Directive (2000/78/EC), int.12
Effective Co-operation in Tackling
equality of opportunity, int.8, int.11, int.12
Homelessness: Nomination Agreements
equity sharing, 3.21, 16.34
and Exclusions (ODPM et al 2004),
ethnic minority groups, int.10, 1.15, 1.41,
179an
2.18, 2.21, 191an
elderly people, 1.15, 8.5, 10.2, 10.12, 10.15,
European Community
17.13, 17.42
law, int.12, 9.7, 9.23, 201an, 211an
eligibility for assistance, 9.1–9.25, 14.1,
Treaties, 9.13, 9.21, 9.23, 201an, 202an,
14.5, 14.6, 14.10, 14.11, 14.14, 14.18,
203an, 205an, 210an
14.24, 14.26, 14.31, 15.2, 15.5, 15.13,
European Convention of Human Rights,
15.17, 21.3
9.23, 15.8
asylum seekers, 193–194an
European Court of Justice, 201an
EAA nationals, 209–210an
European Economic Area (EEA), 9.7, 9.13,
ineligibility, 13.6, 13.9, 15.3
9.14, 9.21, 9.22, 9.23, 192an, 200an,
reviews of decisions, 19.4
202–210an, 215an
eligibility regulations, 9.1–9.2, 9.5, 9.7,
European groupings see Accession states;
9.10, 9.12, 9.13, 193an, 194an, 201an,
European Economic Area; European
206an, 210an
Union; Switzerland
‘eligible child’, 10.37, 12.3
European Union, 200an, 201an, 211–215an
emergencies, 10.2, 10.42
evaluations, 1.40
employees’ service occupancy, 8.8
Every Child Matters: Change for Children
employment, 1.16, 1.44, 2.5, 10.7, 11.17,
programme, 5.20, 13.7, 15.8
186an, 190an
255
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

evictions, 1.14, 3.20, 7.11, 8.24, 8.32,
General Practitioners
11.17, 16.20, 178an, 186an, 187an
practices, 1.24, 3.4, 4.16, 4.18
illegal, 2.12, 8.16
visits to hostels/day centres, 180an
RSLs, 177an, 178an
good practice guidance, int.4, 1.4, 1.40, 5.8,
Evidence and Enquiries Unit (EEU),
12.17, 164–168an
Immigration and Nationality
grants, 1.28, 2.12, 2.19, 16.20
Directorate, 192an
Greater London Authority (GLA), 1.3, 4.19,
ex-offenders see offenders and ex-offenders
17.37
“excellent” classifications, 1.1, 1.42
Guidance on accommodating children in
exceptional leave to remain, 9.10, 10.35,
need and their families (Local
195an
Authority Circular, 203 (13), 13.8
exclusion criteria (RSLs), 3.20, 178an
Guidelines for Good Practice in Supported
exemptions from review requirements, 1.1,
Accommodation for Young Parents
1.42
(DTLR and Teenage Pregnancy Unit,
2001), 12.17
Gypsies, 1.5, 1.17, 16.38
F
fair access to care services (FACS), 5.22
H
faith-based groups, 1.41, 2.18
false statements and withholding of
habitual residence test, 9.15–9.18,
information, 6.11
196–199an
family breakdowns, 1.15, 2.14, 4.11, 8.6,
harassment, int.11, 2.12, 8.34, 10.34, 11.17,
10.8, 11.11, 12.8–12.9, 173an, 184an,
16.29, 187an, 226an
190an
hazards (Categories 1 and 2), 17.11–17.15
family relationships, 12.7–12.9
Health Act (1999), 5.9, 5.23–5.24
family status discrimination, int.12
health and safety, 17.1, 17.10, 17.22, 17.36
floating support services, 1.29, 4.13
health authorities, int.5, 10.19–10.20,
fora, homelessness, 173an
10.40–10.41, 226an
fostered children, 8.5, 10.2, 10.8, 10.12,
health problems, 186an, 1.15, 1.16, 2.5, 2.6,
10.19–10.20, 10.40–10.41
2.14, 14.4, 17.5
foyers, 1.22
health services, 1.21, 1.24, 1.26, 2.8, 4.12,
Framework for Partnership, A (Local
4.15, 4.17, 5.14, 5.24, 10.18, 16.10,
Government Association et al), 176an
184an, 186an, 188an
Framework for the Assessment of Children
health visitors, 4.16, 16.10
in Need and their Families (Department
hearing loss, int.7, 2.16
of Health, 2000), 13.8
High Court, 15.24, 17.45
funding, 1.25–1.29, 3.7, 3.8, 3.28, 4.14,
HIV-related illnesses and AIDS, 10.32
4.15, 5.6, 16.34
Home Energy Conservation Act reports, 1.2
furniture schemes, 1.24, 2.19
Home Office, 9.25, 167an, 206an
Immigration and Nationality Directorate,
191an, 192an, 9.9, 9.24, 193an,
G
195an
gardens, 17.5
Home Secretary, 193an
gender and sexuality, 1.16, 8.21
Homebuy schemes, 1.28, 3.21, 16.34
gender discrimination, int.7
Homeless Link, 168an
gender reassignment discrimination, int.12
homeless persons unit, 1.27
Gender Recognition Act (2004), int.12
Homelessness Act (2002), int.1, int.6, 21.7,
21.11
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
256

homelessness reviews, 4.7
records, 1.14
homelessness strategies, 1.1, 1.9,
hostels, 1.14, 1.22, 1.24, 4.13, 8.8, 8.34,
1.31–1.32, 1.37, 1.39, 1.42, 2.7, 3.2,
10.17, 16.25–16.26, 17.6, 17.7, 17.20,
4.2, 5.2, 175an
173an, 180an, 193an
joint working, 1.39, 5.2, 5.9
local authority, 16.11, 16.14
social services authorities, 1.6, 1.9
house purchase by applicant, 16.33–16.34
Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals)
houseboats, 8.4, 8.17, 16.37
Order (SI 1998 No. 1578),
houses in multiple occupation (HMOs),
18.34–18.36, 19.4, 19.9, 19.11, 19.15,
17.9, 17.10, 17.12, 17.17, 17.18–17.23,
19.17–19.18, 19.19
17.36, 17.37
Homelessness (Decisions on Referrals)
Housing Act (1985), 1.5, 15.6, 16.11, 16.13,
(Scotland) Order (SI 1998 No. 1603),
17.10, 175an
18.36
HMOs, 17.18, 17.22
Homelessness (England) Regulations 2000
overcrowding, 8.28, 17.9, 17.16–17.17,
(SI 2000/701), 18.8
220an
homelessness fora, 173an
Housing Act (1988), 8.32, 14.20
Homelessness (Priority Need for
Housing Act (1996), int.1, int.2, 6.4–6.6,
Accommodation) (England) Order
6.16, 17.27, 17.30, 201an
2002, 10.2, 10.33
advice and information, 2.9, 2.13, 2.19,
homelessness reviews, int.6, 1.1, 1.4, 1.6,
6.3, 14.3
1.11–1.30, 1.31, 1.42, 2.7, 4.7, 21.7,
applicant’s obligations, 6.11
176an
applications for assistance, 6.2–6.3
homelessness strategies, int.6, 1.31–1.44,
asylum, immigration, nationality
2.20, 3.2, 21.7, 173–174an , 176an
legislation, 9.22–9.25, 18.18–18.22
combined with housing strategy, 1.2
asylum seekers, 9.11–9.12, 193–194an,
duty of authority, int.10, 1.1–1.10
195an
equality and diversity, int.13
co-operation, int.5, 5.9, 5.10–5.13, 6.20,
joint working, 1.39, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6, 5.9,
175an
180–183an
contracting out of functions, 21.2–21.4,
preventing homelessness, 1.32, 2.3, 2.7,
21.6
2.8, 4.9, 14.3, 175an
duties, int.6, 2.3, 14.1–14.31, 15.4, 15.5,
provision of support, 1.32, 4.2, 4.3, 4.8,
15.17, 18.27–18.31, 20.2, 20.8
4.16
eligibility provisions, 9.1, 9.4
homelessness, strategies and programmes
further applications, 6.27, 11.24
(list), 169an
homelessness defined, 1.13, 8.4–8.34,
Homelessness Strategies: A good practice
14.14
handbook (ODPM guidance), 1.4, 5.8
housing authority records, 1.14
Homelessness (Suitability of
inquiries, 2.3, 6.2, 6.4, 6.7, 6.12–6.20,
Accommodation) (England) Order
8.2, 11.24
2003, 7.6, 17.25
See also inquiries
Homelessness (Suitability of
intentional homelessness, 11.2,
Accommodation) Order 1996 (SI 1996
11.6–11.7, 11.8, 11.22, 12.11, 13.3,
No.3204), 8.29, 17.39
13.8, 14.13, 14.28–14.31
hospitals, 1.17, 2.22, 2.23tab, 4.9, 5.6, 8.8,
See also intentional homelessness
10.19–10.20, 10.24, 14.23, 180an,
interim duty, 6.5, 7.2–7.13, 11.24, 16.21,
184an, 190an
17.7, 20.3
psychiatric, 10.17
See also interim duty to accommodate
257
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

local connection, 6.14, 6.18, 7.4,
housing benefit, 1.17, 1.21, 2.12, 11.21,
18.9–18.23
16.20, 17.39, 17.40, 188an
main homelessness duty, 3.22, 10.2,
delays in payment, 1.18, 11.3a, 11.15,
10.4, 14.1, 14.15–14.27, 16.1, 16.5,
14.7, 186an
18.2–18.3
fast tracking of claims, 2.23tab, 185an
notifications of decisions, 6.21–6.25
subsidy (non-HRA), 16.16
powers, int.6, 14.12, 15.5–15.24, 19.25,
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
20.4, 20.7–20.11
(Consequential Provisions) Regulations
priority need, 1.13, 2.13, 6.4, 6.14,
(2006), 194an
10.2–10.4, 10.7, 10.30, 13.3, 14.6,
Housing Benefit (General) Regulations
14.10, 14.13, 14.15
(1987), 194an
protection of personal property,
Housing Benefit (persons who have attained
20.2–20.5, 20.7, 20.9–20.12
the qualifying age for state pension
reasonable preference category, 6.4
credit) Regulations (2006), 194an
referrals to other housing authorities,
Housing Benefit Regulations (2006), 194an
18.7–18.8, 18.27–18.31, 20.3
Housing Corporation, 1.28, 3.8, 16.34,
referrals to social services, 11.23,
167an, 175an, 176an, 177an, 179an
13.6–13.11
Regulatory Code and guidance, int.5,
reviews of decisions, 19.2, 19.4,
16.18, 175an
19.10–19.11, 19.13, 19.15, 19.17,
housing developers, 1.22, 3.8, 3.9
19.19
Housing Employment and Mobility
RSL duties, int.5, 5.12, 16.18, 175an,
Services (now moveUK), 3.21
177an
Housing Health and Safety Rating System
securing accommodation, 16.2–16.44
(HHSRS), 17.10, 17.11–17.15, 17.17,
suitability of accommodation, 17.2–17.3,
17.22
17.9, 17.25, 17.44, 17.45
housing, local authority, 1.22, 1.28, 1.44,
threatened with homelessness, 8.2–8.3,
3.2, 3.21, 8.24, 16.11, 16.12–16.13,
11.2, 11.24, 14.5–14.6
17.27, 185an, 192an
violence, 6.17–6.18, 8.19–8.25,
housing market, 1.17, 1.18, 1.44, 2.10
18.24–18.26
Housing Mobility and Exchange Services
Housing Act (2004), 1.5, 3.25, 17.9, 17.10,
(HOMES), 3.21
17.12, 17.14, 17.18–17.19, 17.21, 17.22
housing needs, 1.17, 1.21, 2.4, 2.11, 3.10,
housing action trusts, 5.10, 16.23
3.15, 3.21, 3.27, 5.2, 5.6, 5.21, 5.27,
housing advice see advice and assistance;
8.3, 11.3a, 14.4, 15.7, 16.29, 173an,
advice and information; advice services
175an, 179an, 180an, 184an, 188an,
Housing Allocation, Homelessness and
190an
Stock Transfer – A guide to key issues
assessment (offenders), 10.26
(ODPM 2004), 21.13, 177an
‘housing options’ approach, 2.11
Housing and Support Services for asylum
housing-related support services, 1.17, 2.2,
seekers and refugees: a good practice
2.26, 4.1, 4.3, 4.8, 4.12–4.14
guide (Chartered Institute of Housing
housing renewal assistance, 1.28, 3.27–3.28
2005), 191an
Housing Revenue Accounts, 1.2, 1.29
housing authorities in other areas, 5.10, 6.7,
Housing (Scotland) Act (1987), 18.22
6.21, 16.7–16.8, 16.29
housing stock, 176–177an, 1.28, 3.1,
collaboration with, 1.3, 1.39, 4.17, 6.20
3.13–3.28, 16.18
referrals to, 14.17, 15.18, 18.1–18.38
housing strategies, 180an, 1.2, 1.17, 1.28,
See also local connection
3.7
Human Rights Act (1998), 15.8, 16.38
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
258

I
J
Iceland, 201an, 202an, 9.7
Jobcentre Plus, 1.24, 4.10, 4.15, 181an
Immigration Act (1971), 201an, 214an
jobseekers from abroad, 9.13, 203an
Immigration and Asylum Act (1999), 18.4,
Joint Area Reviews, 5.20
18.18
joint assessments, 4.5, 5.8, 10.17, 10.39,
Immigration and Nationality Directorate,
12.6, 12.15, 16.4, 174an, 188an
Home Office, 9.9, 9.24, 191an, 192an,
joint planning, int.5, 5.6, 5.18, 5.20
193an, 195an
joint protocols, 4.9, 5.8, 5.17, 188an, 190an
Immigration (European Economic Area)
joint residence orders, 10.10
Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 1003)
Joint Service Housing Advice Office, 10.22,
(EEA regulations), 9.13, 9.14, 200an,
189an
201–210an
joint working, 1.8, 1.39, 4.15, 5.1–5.5,
immigration status, 1.16, 9.4–9.25, 192an,
5.9–5.28, 174an, 176an, 189an
193an
types of, 5.6–5.8
Improving the Effectiveness of Rent Arrears
judicial review, 7.5, 7.13, 15.7, 15.20,
Management (ODPM guidance 2005),
15.24, 17.45, 18.32, 18.38
2.23, 178an, 186an
indefinite leave to enter (ILE), 9.10
indefinite leave to remain (ILR), 9.10
L
injunctions, 8.22, 8.23, 178an, 187an
landlord accreditation schemes, 1.28
inquiries, 2.3, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.12–6.20, 6.27,
landlord fora, 1.28, 3.17
8.2, 10.3, 11.5, 11.24, 14.4
landlords, 1.22, 2.6, 2.12, 3.2, 11.22, 14.29,
accommodation pending, 7.11, 17.45
16.19, 16.24, 16.40, 189an
alleged violence cases, 8.22
accommodation leased from,
contracting out, 21.3
16.15–16.16
speed of, 6.16, 7.7
advice and assistance from, 2.23
inspection framework, integrated, 5.20
financial assistance to, 16.20
intentional homelessness, 5.13, 6.21, 8.32a,
fora, 1.28
11.1–11.24, 14.18, 14.24, 14.28–14.31,
housing renewal assistance to, 3.27
17.28, 174an
interim duty assistance, 16.21–16.22
accommodation pending review, 15.14
joint working, 1.39, 5.4, 173an
children, 13.3, 13.6, 13.9
mediation services, 2.23tab, 3.14, 14.7,
collusion, 11.22, 12.11
185an, 186an
ex-offenders, 10.27, 11.13
notices to quit, tenants’, 8.14, 8.15,
inquiries, 6.12, 6.15, 18.3
8.30–8.32, 11.20a, 11.21
interim duty to accommodate, 6.5, 7.1–7.13,
offers of accommodation, 14.18, 14.20,
10.3, 11.24, 17.2, 17.7, 17.28, 17.34,
16.5
18.3, 20.3
resident, 7.20, 8.14
private landlords/RSLs, 16.21–16.22
social, 2.12, 3.21, 14.26, 14.30, 14.31,
referrals, 14.17, 17.45, 18.27
16.23, 185an
relevant children/child in need, 10.39,
See also Registered Social Landlords
12.6
(RSLs)
interpreters, 6.10
Large Scale Voluntary Transfer Registered
interviews, 6.9, 6.16, 6.17, 8.9, 14.7, 226an
Social Landlords, 21.10
Isle of Man, 9.10, 9.13, 9.14, 9.15, 9.16,
LAWN (Association of London Government
194an, 196an, 205an, 206an, 207an,
mobility scheme), 3.21
209an
Isles of Scilly, 5.19n
259
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

learning difficulties or disabilities, int.7,
Local Authorities’ Homelessness Strategies:
1.24, 2.16, 8.9, 10.12, 10.16, 10.18,
Evaluation and Good Practice (ODPM,
16.9
2004), 1.4, 1.40
leaseholders’ rights, 2.12
local authority care, 1.17, 1.21, 2.6
leasing agreements, 16.11
local authority circular 13. (LAC) (2002),
leasing from private landlords, 16.11,
5.22
16.15–16.16, 16.40
local authority housing, 1.22, 1.28, 1.44,
legal right of occupation, 8.4, 8.7–8.8,
3.2, 3.21, 8.24, 16.11, 16.12–16.13,
11.20a, 14.14
17.27, 185an, 192an
legislation, , int.6, int.13, 1.44, 2.11, 2.17,
local connection, 6.14, 6.18, 7.4, 18.4, 18.5,
2.25, 5.6, 5.9–5.24, 6.3, 10.1, 17.1
18.6, 18.7, 18.9–18.23
See also Asylum and Immigration
reviews of decisions, 18.32, 19.4
(Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act
Local Delivery Plans, NHS (LDPs), 5.6,
(2004); Children Act (1989);
5.25
Children Act (2004); Deregulation
Local Development Frameworks, 3.11
and Contracting Out Act (1994);
local education authorities, 1.27, 4.17,
Disability Discrimination Act
10.19–10.20, 10.40–10.41
(1995); Disability Discrimination
Local Government Act (1972), 5.14, 6.7,
Act (2005); Health Act (1999);
21.9
Homelessness Act (2002); Housing
Local Government Act (1988), 16.19, 16.20
Act (1985); Housing Act (1996);
Local Government Act (2000), 5.9, 5.14
Housing Act (2004); Human Rights
Local Government Act (2003), 16.16
Act (1998); Local Government Act
Local Government Association, 18.6, 18.34,
(1972); Local Government Act
18.35, 19.17, 176an, 179an
(1988); Local Government Act
Local Government Ombudsman,
(2000); Local Government Act
19.26–19.28
(2003); National Health Service and
Local Safeguarding Children Boards
Community Care Act (1990);
(LSCBs), 2.14, 5.19, 185an
Nationality, Immigration and
Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), 5.6,
Asylum Act (2002); Protection from
5.25
Eviction Act (1977); Race Relations
location of accommodation, 3.15, 11.3a,
Act (1976)
17.1, 17.4, 17.30, 17.41
letting agents, 2.12, 185an
lodgers, 8.7
lettings policies of RSLs, 1.17, 176an
lodgings, 16.24
levels of homelessness, 1.11, 1.13–1.18,
London boroughs, 1.3, 5.19n, 17.37
1.44
lone parents, 6.19, 12.15, 12.16–12.17
license terminations, 8.8, 8.9–8.12
Licensing and Management of Houses in
Multiple Occupation and Other Houses
M
(Miscellaneous Provisions) (England)
magistrates’ courts, 10.24
Regulations (2006), 17.22
main homelessness duty, 6.24, 10.2, 10.4,
Liechtenstein, 9.7, 200an, 201an
13.3, 14.1, 14.15–14.25, 16.1, 16.6,
life skills, 2.23tab, 4.12
20.3, 21.11
Local Authorities (Contracting Out of
assured tenancies, 3.16, 3.22, 14.18,
Allocation of Housing and
14.20, 16.5, 16.18, 16.20
Homelessness Functions) Order (SI
ending of, 3.3, 4.5, 14.18–14.25, 16.18,
1996 No. 3215), 21.2–21.3
16.20
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
260

referrals and local connection, 18.2,
mortgages
18.3, 18.4, 18.22, 18.28–18.29
arrears, 2.12, 2.23tab, 11.8,
young people, 12.10
11.16–11.16a, 11.17, 186an
Malta, 200an, 211an
defaults, 8.15, 11.21, 190an
Management of Houses in Multiple
moveable accommodation, 8.4, 8.17, 16.30,
Occupation (England) Regulations
16.37, 17.39
(2006), 17.22
moveUK (formerly Housing Employment
mapping, 1.16, 1.20
and Mobility Services), 3.21
marital status discrimination, int.12
multi-agency fora, 5.6
mediation and reconciliation services, 1.18,
1.21, 2.23tab, 8.11, 12.8–12.9, 14.7,
14.8, , 173an, 184an, 187an
N
landlord-tenant, 1.22, 2.23tab, 3.14, 6.3,
National Association of Citizens Advice
185an, 186an
Bureaux, 2.20
Medical History Release Form (F Med
National Asylum Support Service, 1.14,
133), 10.23
1.15, 1.17, 2.21, 10.35, 17.43,
medical services, 16.9, 18.11
181–182an, 190–191an
See also General Practitioners; health
National Disabled Housing Services Ltd
services; National Health Service
(HoDis), 2.20
(NHS); Primary Care Trusts
National Health Service and Community
Mental Health Act (1983), 10.24, 18.17
Care Act (1990), 5.9, 5.21–5.22
Mental Health National Service Framework
National Health Service (NHS), 5.6, 5.23,
(NSF 30/09/1999), 5.26
5.24, 5.25, 10.17, 10.19–10.20,
Mental Health NHS Trusts, 10.17
10.40–10.41, 17.20, 190an
mental health problems, 2.27, 10.2, 10.24,
National Housing Federation, 168an, 176an,
11.15, 190an
179an
support for, 1.24, 2.14, 4.3, 5.26–5.28,
National Offender Management Service,
16.9, 180an, 186an
1.39, 4.15, 5.4, 180–181an, 187an,
vulnerability due to, 1.15, 2.6, 2.14, 4.9,
189an
10.12, 10.16–10.18, 10.31, 16.25
National Service Framework for Children,
military
Young People and Maternity Services
corrective training centres, 10.21
(2004), 5.28
hospitals, 10.23
National Standards, Local Action: Health
personnel from abroad, 9.7
and Social Care Standards and
See also armed forces personnel
Planning Framework 2005/06-2007/08,
Ministry of Defence, 8.33, 10.22, 189an,
5.25
218–219an
nationality discrimination, int.12
mobile homes, 8.4, 8.17, 16.30, 16.37,
Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act
17.39
(2002), 9.3, 9.22–9.25, 15.3, 18.4,
mobility and exchange schemes, 1.22, 1.28,
18.19, 18.22
3.21, 176an, 179an
new housing, increasing supply of, 3.6–3.12
mobility difficulties, int.7, 2.16, 17.5
new town corporations, 16.23
mobility schemes, 1.22, 1.28, 3.21, 179an
night shelters, 4.13, 8.34
modifications to properties, 17.5
nomination agreements, 1.17, 3.20,
monitoring, , int.9, 1.40, 2.20, 2.25, 4.17,
176–177an, 178an
21.12, 178an, 226an
non-secure tenancies, 15.6, 15.10–15.11,
Montserrat, 9.10, 9.14, 9.19–9.20
16.13, 16.42
non-unitary authorities, 1.3, 1.6
261
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

Norway, 9.7, 200an, 201an, 202an
planning policy framework, national, 3.11
notices to quit, tenants’, 8.14–8.15, 8.30,
Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3),
11.20a
3.10, 3.11
notifications of decisions, 6.11, 6.21–6.25,
Planning Policy Statement 3, draft (PPS3),
18.30, 18.31, 19.11, 19.19
3.11
NOTIFY (GLA web-based system),
planning system, 1.22, 1.28, 3.9, 3.10,
4.19–4.20
173an
Police Service, 4.15, 5.4, 6.8, 6.17, 8.22,
8.24, 8.34, 10.34, 17.20
O
possession orders, 1.14, 7.11, 8.14, 8.15,
offenders and ex-offenders, 1.17, 1.21,
8.32, 8.33, 11.21
2.23tab, 4.9, 10.16, 10.26, 11.5, 11.13,
possession proceedings, 2.12, 2.23, 8.14,
16.7, 18.17
8.15, 8.16, 8.30–8.32, 11.20a, 11.21
at risk group, 1.15, 2.6, 2.22, 10.2, 10.12,
poverty, 4.3, 14.4
10.24–10.27, 188–189an
Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentences) Act
See also National Offender Management
2000, 10.24
Service
powers of housing authorities, 3.25, 3.26,
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
7.10, 7.13, 14.12, 14.27, 15.1–15.24,
(ODPM), publications, int.10, 1.4, 1.40,
17.21, 18.4, 20.11
2.23, 3.9, 4.14, 21.13, 164–166an,
See also Housing Act (1996): powers
177an, 178an, 179an, 186an, 191an
pregnancy, 7.6, 10.2, 10.5, 12.16–12.17,
old age, 1.15, 8.5, 10.2, 10.12, 10.15, 17.13,
17.26, 17.31
17.42
discrimination, int.12
Ombudsman, Local Government,
preventing homelessness, 2.1–2.27, 4.4,
19.26–19.28
8.10, 14.5, 14.12, 14.13, 173an, 178an
overcrowding, 1.17, 8.28, 17.9,
advice and information, 2.1, 2.9–2.20,
17.16–17.17, 17.36, 179an, 220–221an
6.3–6.4, 6.9, 8.3, 14.3, 21.3
owner-occupation, 1.22, 3.21, 3.28, 11.21,
contributing authorities, organisations
16.34, 186an
and persons (list), 170–172an
ownership of homelessness strategies, 1.10,
measures, 1.21, 1.26–1.27, 2.21–2.7,
1.39
2.23tab, 3.5, 4.9, 14.2, 14.7
strategies, 2.1, 2.3, 2.7–2.8, 2.9, 10.1,
14.3, 21.11, 175an
P
Primary Care Trusts, 1.27, 1.29, 4.5, 4.18,
4.20, 5.4, 5.25, 10.19–10.20,
parenting programmes, 2.23tab
10.40–10.41, 12.15, 16.4, 180an
parents, ,2.23tab, 8.6, 8.9, 8.20, 10.6–10.11,
priority need, int.10, 1.13, 10.1–10.42, 13.3,
14.8, 18.11, 184an, 232an
14.6–14.10, 14.15–14.25, 15.13, 15.14,
collusion, 8.12, 11.22, 12.11
17.28, 18.22
lone parents, 6.19, 12.15, 12.16–12.17
16 and 17 year olds, 10.2, 10.33,
with mental health problems, 1.15, 2.21
10.36–10.9, 12.2, 12.11
partnerships, 1.41, 2.17, 4.15, 5.1–5.28
inquiries, 6.12–6.13, 6.21, 10.3, 10.4
See also co-operation
intentional homelessness, 11.3a, 14.13,
peer support schemes, 180an, 184an
14.28–14.30, 15.17
Personal Medical Service pilots, 180an
interim duty, 6.5, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
personality disorders, 10.16
Part 6 distinction, 2.13, 6.4
pets, households with, 17.42
referrals, 6.14
Planning Obligations (ODPM Circular:
05/2005), 3.9
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
262

prison records, 1.14
R
Prison Service, 4.15, 10.26, 188an
prisons see offenders and ex-offenders
Race Directive (2000/43/EC), int.12
privacy issues, 6.9, 16.28, 17.24
race (ethnicity)
Private Finance Initiative, 1.28
racial discrimination, int.7
private rented direct placement schemes,
equality, int.8, int.9
16.44
ethnic minority groups, int.10, 1.15,
private rented sector, 1.17, 1.21, 2.11, 2.18,
1.41, 2.18, 2.21, 191an
3.14–3.18, 11.3a, 17.23
racial discrimination, int.8, int.12
availability of accommodation, 3.2, 3.3,
racial harassment and violence, 1.15,
3.5, 3.23, 16.17, 16.20
10.28, 17.6, 226an
expiry of leases, 16.40
Race Relations Act (1976), int.8
initiatives, 1.22, 1.28, 2.12, 3.15, 3.17,
reasonable preference category, 6.4
6.3, 14.26, 14.30, 14.31
reasonableness of continued occupancy,
notices to quit, 8.14–8.15, 8.30, 11.20a
8.18–8.34, 11.19–11.19a
rents, 1.18
records of housing authorities, 1.14
private sector, 1.19, 1.23, 1.35, 2.7, 4.7,
recurring homelessness, 174an, 185an, 2.1,
16.11, 183an
2.4, 2.6, 2.24–2.27, 4.4
empty properties, 3.24–3.26, 3.27
redevelopment, 1.17
Private Sector Leasing units, 16.42
referrals, 174an, 14.17, 15.18, 17.28, 17.32,
Probation Service, 1.14, 4.15, 10.25, 10.26,
17.45, 18.1, 18.2–18.6, 18.24–18.31,
189an
21.3
property, personal (of applicant),
conditions for, 18.7–18.8
20.1–20.12
disputes relating to, 18.32–18.38
property prices, 1.17
duties relating to, 18.27–18.31
prostitution, 10.33
reviews of decisions, 19.4, 19.9, 19.11,
Protection from Eviction Act (1977), 7.11,
19.15, 19.17–19.18, 19.19
8.14
See also local connection
prudential capital finance scheme, 16.16
Refugee Convention, 9.22
psychiatric hospitals, 10.17
refugees, 182an, 190–191an, 4.9, 5.5, 9.10,
public sector, 1.19, 1.23, 1.25, 1.27, 1.29,
9.22, 10.35
1.34, 1.35, 1.37, 1.39, 2.7, 4.7,
refuges, 173an, 1.14, 1.22, 1.24, 8.34, 16.27
180–182an
refusals of offers of accommodation, 14.18
See also National Asylum Support
regeneration, 1.17, 1.28
Service; National Health Service
regional housing strategies, 1.2, 1.28, 3.7,
(NHS); National Offender
5.14
Management Service; Primary Care
Regional Offender Managers, 181an
Trusts; Registered Social Landlords
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), 180an,
(RSLs)
1.21, 3.2, 14.18, 16.17, 16.22, 16.34,
publication of homelessness strategies, 1.42,
16.43, 17.20, 17.27
1.43
availability of accommodation, 173an,
publicity for advice services, 2.16
1.17, 1.22
choice-based lettings schemes, 3.23
duty of co-operation, 175an, 5.10, 5.12,
Q
16.18, int.5
evictions, 1.14
quality assurance systems, 2.20, 21.12
financial assistance to, 16.19
joint working with, 175–179an, 1.28,
1.36, 1.39, 3.8, 3.20, 5.4, 12.17, 16.4
263
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

Large Scale Voluntary Transfer, 21.10
accommodation pending, 7.13, 15.2,
temporary accommodation, 3.22
15.3, 15.12–15.20, 15.23, 18.30,
transfer of housing stock to, 175an, 1.44,
19.20
16.18
rights of occupation, 2.12
Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance)
rights to reside, 9.7, 201–210an
(England and Wales) Order 2002, 3.27
room standard (overcrowding), 220an,
Relate, 2.23tab
221an
relationship breakdowns, 184an, 186an,
rough sleepers, 1.13, 1.14, 5.4, 10.31, 17.42,
1.15, 1.18, 2.14, 2.23tab, 4.3
180an
relevant children, 10.36, 10.37, 12.2, 12.3,
12.5, 12.6
relevant students, 10.2, 10.19, 10.40–10.41
S
religion and belief discrimination, int.7,
s.106 agreements, 3.9
int.12
Safeguarding Children Boards, 2.14, 5.16,
renovation of accommodation, 5.21
185an
Rent Acts, 8.7
same sex partners, 8.5, 8.20, 18.11
rent arrears, 180an, 185an, 2.23tab, 14.7
sanctuary schemes (domestic violence),
advice on, 2.12
1.21, 2.23tab, 185an
policies on, 1.17
schools
prevention and management, 178an,
enrolment, 3.4
186an, 2.23
exclusions, 1.15
responsibility for, 11.8, 11.15,
special, 16.9
11.16–11.16a, 11.17, 11.21
See also education and training
rent bond schemes, 2.23tab
Scotland, 18.4, 18.9, 18.21–18.22, 18.34,
rent deposit retrieval, 2.12
18.36, 18.37
rent deposit schemes, 174an, 181an, 185an,
Scottish Homes, 5.10
1.21, 1.22, 1.28, 2.12, 2.23tab, 3.15,
Secretary of State for Communities and
6.3, 11.3a, 13.8, 14.3, 14.26, 14.30,
Local Government, int.1, 8.33, 14.4,
14.31, 16.35
14.19, 15.15, 15.16, 16.9, 16.25, 18.33,
rent guarantee schemes, 1.21, 1.22, 1.27,
186an, 206an, 221an
1.28, 2.12, 3.15, 6.3, 14.26, 14.30,
16 and 17 year olds, 6.19, 8.13, 12.7,
14.31, 174an, 185an
12.15, 16.28
rent levels, 1.17, 1.18, 2.10, 2.12, 17.40
authorities classified as ‘excellent’, 1.42
repair grants, 2.12, 3.27
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodation,
repossessions, 1.17
16.28, 17.25, 17.34–17.35, 17.37
Republic of Ireland, 9.7, 9.10, 9.13, 9.14,
Housing Corporation guidance, 16.18,
9.15, 9.16, 194an, 196an, 205an, 206an,
175an
207an, 209an
issues of violence, 8.21, 11.8
residence orders, 8.6, 10.9, 10.10
persons from abroad, 9.4, 9.16, 9.22,
resident landlords, 8.14, 17.20
9.24, 194an
residential care, 1.17, 2.23tab
preventing homelessness, 2.4, 8.3, 14.2,
residential treatment, 2.23tab
14.5
resources available, 1.11, 1.25–1.30, 2.7, 4.7
settled accommodation, 16.5, 177an
review of homelessness strategies, 1.43
suitability of accommodation, 17.3, 17.5,
reviews of decisions, 6.22, 7.5, 7.9, 7.10,
17.15, 17.39–17.42
7.13, 10.4, 14.19, 15.15, 17.45, 18.32,
temporary accommodation, 3.19, 3.22,
19.1–19.19, 21.3, 21.4
4.18, 16.6, 16.10, 16.12, 16.18
withdrawn applications, 6.26
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
264

Secretary of State for Education and Skills,
social landlords, 2.12, 3.21, 14.26, 14.30,
int.2
14.31, 16.23, 185an
Secretary of State for Health, int.2
See also Registered Social Landlords
secure accommodation, 2.6, 10.24
(RSLs)
secure and non-secure tenancies, 15.6,
social services, 1.24, 16.10, 16.24, 180an,
15.10, 15.11, 16.13, 16.42
186an, 188an, 190an
securing accommodation, 1.22, 1.28, 1.32,
social services authorities, 1.3, 1.33, 4.20,
15.1–15.24, 16.1–16.44, 21.3
5.27, 13.8, 16.31, int.2
security in violence cases, 8.24, 17.6, 185an
16 and 17 year olds, 6.19
security of tenure, exemptions, 16.21
access to, 4.16
self-employed persons from abroad, 205an,
community care assessments, 5.21, 16.25
207an, 210an, 214an, 215an
duty of co-operation, 1.6–1.10,
self-funded developments, 1.28
5.10–5.11
self-sufficient persons from abroad, 206an,
joint assessments, 4.5, 5.16–5.17, 10.17,
215an
12.15, 16.4, 188an
service charges, 2.12
joint working, int.5, 1.39, 4.15, 5.4, 5.6,
service living accommodation (armed
5.14, 10.11, 12.13, 12.17, 174an
forces), 8.33, 10.22, 189an, 218–9an
notification of, 5.13, 7.12, 11.23,
Setting the Standard (STS), 17.37
13.6–13.7, 13.9, 13.11
settled housing, 3.3, 3.16, 3.19, 4.4, 9.10,
planning framework, 5.25
11.11, 16.5, 16.39–16.44, 21.11
resources available, 1.25, 1.27, 1.29
loss of, 3.14
support for vulnerable people, 1.21
sexual abuse, 8.21, 10.33
See also children’s services authorities
sexual harassment, 226an
social services departments, 1.6, 1.10, 4.17,
sexual orientation discrimination, int.7,
6.19, 7.12, 12.15, 13.6, 13.10, 186an
int.12
social services records, 1.14
sexuality and gender, 1.16, 8.21
social workers, 5.6, 6.6, 16.25
shared equity schemes, 16.34
solicitors, 6.6
shared ownership schemes, 1.28, 16.34
South East England, 3.6
Shelter, 2.20, 168an
space standard (overcrowding), 220an,
short-term accommodation, 4.13, 16.6,
221an
16.25, 16.26, 16.28, 16.30, 17.7, 21.11
special health authorities, 10.19–10.20,
See also Bed & Breakfast (B&B)
10.40–10.41
accommodation; temporary
special schools, 16.9
accommodation
specialist accommodation, 1.22
shortages of accommodation, 1.18, 2.10, 3.3
sponsors of ILE/ILR applicants, 9.10
sight loss, int.7, 2.16
squatters, 8.16
slum clearance, 17.9
strategies and programmes, homelessness
social cohesion, 2.5
(list), 169an
social exclusion, 3.10
statutory tenancies, 8.7
social housing, 1.18, 2.11, 2.13, 3.19–3.22,
strategic partnerships, local, 4.15, 5.5, 5.14
11.3a, 14.30, 14.31, 16.6, 16.12, 175an,
street drinking, 5.4
177an, 185an, 188an
student accommodation, 17.20
settled housing, 3.3, 3.5
students from abroad, 206an, 215an
waiting list, 2.12, 6.3, 14.26
substance abuse problems, 1.24, 2.27,
See also Registered Social Landlords
11.15, 181an, 184an
(RSLs)
See also drug abuse problems
265
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

suitability of accommodation, 7.5–7.6,
temporary accommodation, 3.3–3.5, 3.18,
14.15, 14.18, 14.19, 14.22, 14.29, 16.2,
3.22, 8.34, 13.8, 14.8, 16.5, 16.30,
16.3, 17.1–17.45, 19.4
16.39–16.44, 17.6, 18.11, 176an, 177an
support for homeless people, 1.16
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodation,
support needs, 6.19, 12.12, 12.15, 16.4,
17.37
16.24, 173an, 174an, 177an, 188an,
lower use of, 1.26, 2.5
191an
private rented sector, 3.16, 16.15, 16.16
support services, 1.17, 1.19, 1.21,
RSLs, 16.18
1.23–1.24, 1.29, 1.32, 2.25, 4.1–4.20,
social housing inappropriate, 3.19, 16.6,
12.13, 16.4, 16.10, 18.11
16.12
support workers, 16.25
support, 4.4, 4.5, 4.16–4.20, 16.10
supported accommodation, 1.22, 1.24, 1.28,
temporary to settled housing initiatives,
1.29, 4.13, 12.13, 12.16–12.17, 16.14,
16.39
16.24, 173an, 174an
tenancies for minors, 16.31
Supporting People, 1.3, 1.14, 1.24, 1.29,
tenancy agreements, 14.19, 14.22, 16.31,
2.23tab, 4.5, 5.6, 12.13, 12.15, 16.4,
16.35, 178an, 185an
179an, 181an, 191an
Tenancy management: eligibility and
Guide to Accommodation and Support
evictions (Housing Corporation
Options for Homeless Households
Circular 07/04), 177an
(ODPM, 2003), 4.14
tenancy relations services, 173an
housing support services, 2.25,
tenancy support schemes, 1.21, 1.24, 1.27,
2.26–2.27, 4.14
189an
preventing homelessness, 1.21, 1.27
tenancy sustainment, 2.6, 2.26, 3.20, 178an,
Supporting People, publications, 165an
185an
Sure Start, 1.29, 4.15
tenants’ notices to quit, 8.14–8.15
surveys by housing authorities, 1.14
tenants’ rights, 2.12
Sustainable Communities: Homes for All,
threatened with homelessness, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3,
3.6
8.32, 14.2, 14.5–14.13, 15.17, 17.28,
Sustainable Communities Plan, 3.6
18.3, 19.4
Switzerland, 9.7, 200an, 202an, 215an
tied accommodation, 11.17
TOGETHER website, 178an, 187an
Town and Country Planning Act (1990), 3.9
T
training, joint, 5.6
tackling homelessness, 2.1, 2.4, 2.22,
transitional housing, 4.13
2.23tab, 2.25, 3.20, 5.2, 5.5, 184–191an
Travellers, 1.5, 1.17, 16.38
contributing authorities, organisations
trusts, 4.15
and persons (list), 170–172an
See also homelessness strategies;
U
preventing homelessness
Tackling Homelessness Amongst Ethnic
unemployment, 1.17, 1.18, 2.10, 2.14, 4.3
Minority Households (ODPM
unintentional homelessness, 1.13, 6.14, 7.4,
Development Guide), int.10, 191an
11.5, 14.10, 14.15–14.25, 15.5–15.11,
targets, 1.40, 3.5
17.28, 18.22, int.10
teenage pregnancy co-ordinators, 12.17
without priority need, 6.13, 14.11–14.12,
Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, Government’s,
14.26–14.27, 15.2
12.16
unitary authorities, 1.6, 1.10, 5.19, 6.19,
Teenage Pregnancy Unit, 12.17
10.39, 12.6, 12.15, 13.2, 13.6, 13.10,
188an
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities
266

V
Worker Registration Scheme, 204–205an,
211–215an, 216–217an
vacating interim duty accommodation, 7.10,
workers from abroad, 203–205an, 207an,
7.11
210an, 211–215an
vaccination programmes, 4.18
Working Together to Safeguard Children: A
vehicles as accommodation, 8.4, 8.17
guide to inter-agency working to
vessels as accommodation, 8.4, 8.17
safeguard and promote the welfare of
Veterans Agency, 190an
children (2006), 13.7
violence, 6.17–6.18, 8.10, 10.2, 10.12, 11.8,
working with others see co-operation; joint
11.12, 11.17, 11.19–11.19a, 16.25,
working; partnerships
16.29, 17.6, 18.7, 18.24–18.26, 187an
worklessness see unemployment
young people, 8.13, 10.33, 12.7, 12.8
See also domestic violence
vocational training, int.12
Y
voluntary agreements, 10.11, 10.40–10.41
young people, 1.7, 1.14, 1.21, 1.27, 2.18,
voluntary sector organisations, int.5, 1.17,
10.33, 16.25, 16.31, 17.13, 17.41
1.23, 1.24, 2.18, 4.15, 8.24,
at risk group, 1.15, 1.24, 4.9
10.40–10.41, 14.7, 17.27, 21.6, 182an,
supported accommodation, 4.13
187an
See also 16 and 17 year olds; care
examples of (list), 170–172an
leavers; children
joint working, 1.39, 4.5, 5.4, 5.6, 12.15,
youth crime prevention programmes,
12.17, 16.4
2.23tab
preventing homelessness, 1.19, 2.7
Youth Offending Teams, 4.15, 10.25, 10.26,
records of, 1.14
181an, 189an
resources available, 1.11, 1.25, 1.27,
1.29, 4.7
specific actions of, 1.34, 1.35, 1.37
vulnerable people see 16 and 17 year olds;
armed forces personnel; at risk groups;
children; elderly people; mental health
problems; offenders and ex-offenders;
young people
W
Wales, 18.4, 18.9, 18.22, 18.34, 18.36,
18.37
walk-in centres, 180an
warrants for possession, 8.14, 8.32, 11.20a
websites, 1.5, 2.15, 5.20, 8.25, 12.17, 13.7,
164–168an, 176an, 178an, 187an
Welsh Local Government Association,
18.34
Withholding and Withdrawal of Support
(Travel Assistance and Temporary
Accommodation) Regulations 2002
,
9.25
women’s refuges, 1.24, 8.34, 16.27
267
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

 
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