Legal duty to provide homelessness services
We have a legal duty to intervene at an earlier stage and provide homelessness services to all eligible households affected (this is not limited to those in ‘priority need’).
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
As we are unable to provide social housing to everyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, we will try to help you prevent or relieve homelessness in the first instance.
More about the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
We will work with people facing homelessness to prevent them from losing their home.
We must be satisfied that you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days and eligible for assistance (by way of immigration status).
For up to 8 weeks (56 days) we will set out agreed actions (reasonable steps) to help you to either remain in your existing home or help you to secure alternative accommodation These steps will be put in your personal housing plan.
We will work with people who have become homeless to help them to find a home. We must be satisfied that you are homeless and eligible for assistance (by way of immigration status).
For up to 56 days, we will set out agreed actions (reasonable steps) to help you to secure an alternative home for at least 6 months. These steps will be put in your personal housing plan.
If the relief duty applies to you, we can only provide you with emergency accommodation if you are considered to be in ‘priority need’. For example, a family with children under the age of 18 in full-time education.
You may not be aware of this, but if we help you into a private rented home for at least 6 months, it will end our duty to house you under new homelessness law.
Personalised Housing Plan
During the prevention and relief stages, we will provide you with a personalised housing plan. This sets out the actions (reasonable steps) that you and we will take to prevent you from losing your home or to help to find an alternative home for at least 6 months.
The aim of the plan is to:
- Stop you from becoming homeless (prevent)
- Help you to find alternative housing if you’ve already lost you home for at least six months (relieve)
The Homelessness Reduction Act obliges you to co-operate with those reasonable steps and efforts to prevent you from becoming homeless or to help you to find an alternative home.
Main Housing Duty
After 56 days, the relief duty comes to an end if you have not been able to find and secure accommodation. We will assess whether a main housing duty will be owed to you after the relief duty ends.
The main housing duty is only owed to those who remain homeless after the relief duty has ended and are in priority need and have not made themselves intentionally homeless.
We will have a duty to find suitable alternative accommodation for those who are owed the main housing duty. An offer of accommodation is likely to be in the private rented sector, could be outside of Richmond and possibly outside of London.
Up to: Our homelessness duties
Updated: 01 February 2019