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Below are notes from Homeless Link on the current Housing Act 2002, bringing in new changes for rehousing single homeless people. It also brings in other criteria relating to harassment and young people leaving home.

The Housing Act.

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Commencement of homelessness legislation

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department of Health announce the commencement of the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002

 

The Homelessness Act 2002 received Royal Assent on 26 February 2002. This introduced the duty for local authorities to review homelessness in their local area and design and publish a homelessness strategy based on that review. It also made reforms to the Housing Act 1996 that strengthed the homelessness safety net. Alongside this, the categories of those in priority need have also been extended.

On the 15th July, the ODPM and DOH released the timetable for commencement of these reforms.

bullet The main homelessness provisions of the 2002 Act comes into force on 31 July 2002
bullet Section 12 of the 2002 Act (co-operation in certain cases involving children) comes into force on 1 October 2002
bullet Section 8 (review of decisions as to suitability of accommodation) and paragraphs 3 and 7 of Schedule 1 to the Act (persons excluded from entitlement to housing benefit cannot be prescribed as eligible for housing) came into force on Royal Assent
bullet The provisions of the 2002 Act which amend Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 (allocation of housing accommodation) will commence in January 2003
bullet Section 11, Schedule 1, Paragraphs 13, 14(a) and 17 have not yet been commenced
bullet The Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002 also comes into force on 31 July 2002.

The revised Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities will take effect from 31 July 2002, however all aspects of the Code are open to consultation until 31 October 2002. Homeless Link will be undertaking a consultation on this Code with members after the summer.

Further information, details of the commencement and a copy of the Code of Guidance can be obtained from the ODPM website.

A copy of the Homeless Link briefing on the Homelessness Act 2002 is available on this website.