Course level: Update
Date of recording: 20th March, 2012
The Government intends that homeless applicants will spend less time in temporary accommodation by making more homes available through the private rented sector and discouraging applicants from refusing suitable private accommodation.
By providing housing authorities with greater powers to utilise private housing to discharge their duties to the homeless, it also hopes that more families will be provided with settled homes more quickly, while preventing people in acute but short-term housing from acquiring social homes for life whilst those in need of longer-term social homes, in particular those covered by the Equality Act 2010, are left waiting.
These new powers are being introduced through the Localism Act, which amends parts of the Housing Act 1996 and this course looks at the main changes to local authority duties and powers and assesses how these are likely to applied in practice.
Aims and outcomes
To explain the changes to local authority homelessness powers and responsibilities introduced by the Localism Act and to analyse how these powers may be deployed in practice.
• The current law
• Changes Introduced by S.148 and S.149 LA 2011
- Existing applicants
- Offer of social housing
- Private rented sector offer
- Same definition as “private accommodation offer”
- Must be in writing
- Consequences must be spelt out
- New conditions for referral to another local authority
- Changes to concepts of suitability and reasonableness
- Changes to offer of interim accommodation
- Changes to accommodation offered in restricted cases
- Changes to non-restricted cases
- The new duty if accommodation comes to an end within two years
• Concerns raised during passage of the Act
- Which applicants will these changes apply to?
- Less security of tenure
- “revolving door” of homelessness
- Higher rents charges and HB
- Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities
- Whether the fixed term for an offer of accommodation will be increased from 12 months to say 5 years
- How suitability of accommodation will be determined by regulations
- Quality of the accommodation
• Useful guidance
• The future
Watch a preview
ABOUT THE PRESENTER
Morayo Fagborun Bennett
Morayo specialises in all areas of housing, residential property, public and administrative law, including those which overlap with welfare benefit and employment law.
In appropriate cases, Morayo is able to provide advice and representation on a direct access or pro bono basis.
She also provides training to legal professionals, housing officers and students in social housing, welfare benefits and employment law.
• BVC (Outstanding)
• CPE (Commendation)
• MA (Westminster) Crime, Human Rights and the International Community (Distinction)
• MA (Oxon) Philosophy and Theology (2:1)
• Buchanan Prize 2004
• IDS Brief Prize for Employment Law 2004
• Sibel Dedezade Pro Bono Award 2004
• Hardwicke Scholar 2003
• Lord Bowen Scholar 2002
• Administrative Law Bar Association
• Bar Pro Bono Unit
• Black Lawyers Directory
• Employment Law Bar Association
• Employment Lawyers Association
• Free Representation Unit
• Housing Law Practitioners’ Association
• Human Rights Lawyers Association
• Industrial Law Society
• Legal Action Group
• Social Housing Law Association
• Social Security Practitioners Association
T: 020 7242 2523 (switchboard)
F: 020 7691 1234