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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2001): Homelessness - UK


London: TSO, 2001 (House of Commons Bills, Session 2001/02; 2).

Bill obliges local authorities to draw up an action plan to tackle homelessness in their area within a year of its enactment. People in priority need are guaranteed housing. The criteria for "priority need" status will include:

  • people fleeing violence,
  • young people leaving care,
  • 16-17 year olds
  • people with an institutionalised background.

Local authorities will have a duty to provide information and advice for non-priority housing cases. Applicants must be placed in appropriate accommodation. They will have a right to know how their application is progressing and any reasons for rejection. They will have a right to legally challenge decisions over their status as a "priority case" and seek a review of the suitability of any accommodation offered.

(For comment see Community Care, no. 1381, 2001, p.12).