Homelessness Reduction Act briefing

An overview of the Act and how housing associations can support it.

23 March 2018

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 comes into force on 3 April 2018. It is the biggest change to homelessness legislation in 40 years and brings in new duties to prevent and relieve homelessness.

The key measures in the Act are:

  • an extension of the period ‘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.
  • A new ‘duty to refer’ - public services will need to notify a local authority if they come into contact with someone they think may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

There are no specific duties on housing associations.  However, as outlined in this briefing the sector can support many aspects of the Act, including making a voluntary commitment to notify the local authority if they come into contact with someone they think is at risk of becoming homeless.