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16 May 2018

Homeless Reduction Act

It’s the biggest change to homelessness legislation in 40 years and as member of the Homes for Cathy Alliance, we're committed to working together with partner agencies to reduce homelessness.

What’s Different?

The biggest change is that Local Authorities will have the duty to assist everyone who is threatened with homelessness not just those who are in priority need. This includes those with children or those suffering ill health, a disability or the vulnerable. Single people will now be assisted to secure their current accommodation or find new accommodation.
A person is now considered to be threatened with homelessness if it’s within 56 rather than 28 days. In those 56 days the Local Authority will agree an action plan with the customer with the aim to prevent them from becoming homeless. This applies to everyone, regardless of intentionality, local connection or priority need.

If they do become homeless the Local Authority will seek to help the customer find accommodation, which will be available for at least 6 months.

It is likely that single or non-priority people will be directed to the private rented sector. Those who are in priority need will still be offered temporary and eventually permanent accommodation by the Local Authority.

NCHA’s Duty to Refer

As a social landlord committed to reducing homelessness, we are signing up to the Voluntary Duty to Refer Agreement from October 2018, meaning that

  • We will inform Local Authorities 56 days before a possible eviction with the tenant’s consent.
  • We can expect Local Authorities to be more proactive in trying to stop evictions. They have already offered Discretionary Housing Payments to NCHA to prevent homelessness.
We are waiting to hear how local authorities want us to make these referrals so that we are ready for October 2018.

NCHA’s Policy Approach

NCHA has policies on rent setting, affordability, anti-social behaviour and evictions. We understand that a number of housing associations are setting new policy ambitions in order to ensure that no-one is made homeless from social housing. NCHA will be reviewing our approaches over 2018/19 to take account of emerging best practice in full consultation with our customers, staff and NCHA's Board.  

Supporting Homelessness

NCHA provides a number of specialist services to assist people across the East Midlands who find themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness. These are:

Nottingham:

  • Linby Drive – temporary accommodation for those experiencing homelessness. Referrals accepted through Housing Aid only. You can contact Housing Aid by phone on 0115 876 3300 or via email on housing.aid@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
  • Homelessness Prevention Service – community-based outreach support. Referrals accepted through Housing Aid only. You can contact Housing Aid by phone on 0115 876 3300 or via email on housing.aid@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Leicester:

  • Heathfield House - temporary accommodation for those experiencing homelessness. Referrals accepted directly to Heathfield House on 0116 274 5490.
Leicestershire:

  • William Lyons Court - temporary accommodation for those experiencing homelessness who are aged 16 - 24. Referrals accepted directly to Charnwood Borough Council. 
  • Housing Matters Homeless Prevention Services - community-based outreach support. Referrals through The Bridge, who can be contacted by phone on 0300 561 0001 or via email on housingmatters@thebridge-eastmidlands.org.uk
Derbyshire:

  • Temporary accommodation units for individuals within the Derbyshire Dales area. Referrals through Derbyshire Dales District Council, who can be contacted by phone on 01629 761311 or 01629 761117 or via email on homelessness@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

For more information on our work to provide more homes and support for individuals who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, contact us on 0800 013 8555 / 0115 844 3150 or email info@ncha.org.uk.