Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2008): Homelessness - UK

Climbing Everest naked: the revolving door research project in Brighton and Hove

T. Chandler and S. Cresdee

Brighton: University of Brighton, 2008

A high percentage of homeless women are trapped in a cycle of hostel use, rough sleeping, sofa-surfing and prison. Already complex problems may be worsened by hostel provision. Women can feel insecure in hostels, be unable to break free of drug habits because drugs are readily available, and be in constant fear of rape. There is a clear need for high levels of specialist cross-agency support to help women break out of the cycle.


Minor confusion

S. Povey

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2008, p. 42

Homelessness legislation prohibits the local housing authority from providing assistance to those who are not eligible for such assistance, ie those subject to immigration control. Even if the applicant is eligible, Section 185(4) of the Housing Act 1996 compels to local authority to disregard any ineligible member of the applicant's household when deciding whether the applicant is homeless or has a priority need. The Courts decided that section 185(4) is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, and it has now been amended by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008. This amends section 185(4) so that the only time an ineligible member of the household can be ignored by the local authority in respect of homelessness is when the applicant is a person subject to immigration control who is eligible for assistance by way of regulations under section 185(2) and is not a European national. However, the Act also introduces the concept of the 'restricted person'. This is a member of the household who is not eligible for assistance in their own right. If, as the sole result of a restricted person, the applicant is owed the full homelessness duty, that duty will be discharged by an offer of private accommodation.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web