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The Homelessness Reduction Act – what it means for you

The new Homelessness Reduction Act increases the requirements for CBH (on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council) to help all eligible applicants – rather than just those with a ‘priority need’.

It adds two new duties:

Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness: CBH will have to help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This means people should get help on receiving a valid notice from their landlord if they are struggling to find a letting, rather than being told to come back when they have a bailiff’s date.

Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: CBH will have to help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are ‘intentionally homeless’ or priority need. This should mean that all eligible households are offered help to find a home, rather than some people being turned away. It should also ensure that the true scale of homelessness is recorded.

If neither of the above steps work and the household becomes, or remains, homeless, then those in priority need retain their right to be rehoused, but non priority households will not be entitled to further help.