Supporting the Homelessness Reduction Act

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA) is the first major piece of homelessness legislation in 15 years.

The Act places new duties on local authorities to help prevent and relieve homelessness. It is designed to provide support for anyone threatened with homelessness.

Key measures include:

  • Extending the period during which an authority should treat someone as threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days.
  • A new duty to prevent homelessness for all eligible applicants threatened with homelessness, regardless of priority need.
  • A new duty to relieve homelessness for all eligible homeless applicants, regardless of priority need. This help could be, for example, the provision of a rent deposit or debt advice.
  • A new duty on public services to notify a local authority if they come into contact with someone they think may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act

The Act was implemented in April 2018. Funding for local authorities is set at £72.7 million over three years.

The updated Code of Guidance for Local Authorities was published in February 2018.

How housing associations are supporting the Act

There are no duties placed on housing associations by the Homelessness Reduction Act. However, a large number of housing associations are keen to support it. We worked with MHCLG to develop a housing association commitment to support the Act, which we named the Commitment to Refer.