The Homelessness Reduction Act received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017, and came into effect on Tuesday 3rd April 2018

It started out as a private members bill introduced by Bob Blackman MP, back in June 2016, before being published after the Select Committee for Communities and Local Government had a homelessness inquiry.

The key measures are:

An extension of the period ‘threatened with homelessness’ from 28 to 56 days, this means a person is treated as being threatened with homelessness if it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days.

A duty on local authorities to prevent homelessness for all eligible homeless applicants threatened with homelessness, regardless of priority need.

A duty for local authorities to relieve homelessness for all eligible homeless applicants, regardless of priority need.

A duty to refer – public service will need to notify a local authority if they come into contact with someone they think may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

A duty for local authorities to provide advisory services on homelessness, preventing homelessness and people’s rights, free of charge.

A duty for local authorities to access all applicants’ cases and agree a personalised plan.

For more information about the Act and its effects can be found by visiting:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-reduction-bill-policy-factsheets

Written by Emmerson Walgrove, Chair of Bradford Speakout & Trustee of Equality Together