Are the Streets the Only Option if You Are About to Become Homeless?
The Homeless Act 2002 allows all UK residents who are about to find themselves homeless or are currently homeless rights to accommodation even if this is only temporary providing you are eligible.
Sections 1 to 3 of The Homeless Act 2002 imposes a duty upon all local housing authorities to review homelessness, prevent homelessness, secure accommodation for those who are or may be made homeless and to provide support for homeless victims.
Do you know everyone is eligible for assistance except if you are subject to immigration control i.e. not British Citizens and EEA Nationals that are habitually resident in the UK. Refugees that are officially recognised as refugees can also be eligible. As long as you are eligible the council must offer you accommodation whilst they look into your situation. If you are not homeless yet but could become homeless in the next 60 days, your local council must give you advice and do all that the can to help you keep your home.
If you also match any of the following circumstances:-
· You are pregnant or you are living with your girlfriend, partner or husband who is pregnant
· You live with dependent children or children are expected to live with you
· You are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness, disabled or expected to reside with someone who is vulnerable
· You are threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as a flood, fire, or other disaster
· You are 16 or 17
· You are under 21
Then you could be considered to be a Priority Need for Accommodation which further strengthens your case with the council for accommodation.
At this point, it is also important to note that if you satisfy the conditions above and you have not made yourself Intentionally Homeless which is defined in the 2002 Act asProviding you have not intentionally made yourself homeless then your local council will provide permanent accommodation. You may be housed in temporary accommodation for a short while until something permanent becomes available but you will not find yourself on the streets.
“A person becomes homeless intentionally if he deliberately does or fails to do anything in consequence of which he ceases to occupy accommodation which is available for his occupation and which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy”
Councils will consider your local connection. That is things such as where you were living, where you currently work and any family or relatives you have in the area.
You may be wondering what you must do to get the council to act for you or whether you need to make or complete application forms. Well the good news is you just need to go along to your local council and the councils duty to you is triggered upon YOUR request for assistance.
You can get further information form Shelter a dedicated organisation that helps homeless people. Please see their website http://www.shelter.org.uk/
This published article may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice