Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
 
Eligibility for assistance
Persons from abroad not eligible for housing assistance.     185. - (1) A person is not eligible for assistance under this Part if he is a person from abroad who is ineligible for housing assistance.
 
      (2) A person who is subject to immigration control within the meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 is not eligible for housing assistance unless he is of a class prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State may make provision by regulations as to other descriptions of persons who are to be treated for the purposes of this Part as persons from abroad who are ineligible for housing assistance.
 
      (4) A person from abroad who is not eligible for housing assistance shall be disregarded in determining for the purposes of this Part whether another person-
 
 
    (a) is homeless or threatened with homelessness, or
 
    (b) has a priority need for accommodation.
Asylum-seekers and their dependants.     186. - (1) An asylum-seeker, or a dependant of an asylum-seeker who is not by virtue of section 185 a person from abroad who is ineligible for housing assistance, is not eligible for assistance under this Part if he has any accommodation in the United Kingdom, however temporary, available for his occupation.
 
      (2) For the purposes of this section a person who makes a claim for asylum-
 
 
    (a) becomes an asylum-seeker at the time when his claim is recorded by the Secretary of State as having been made, and
 
    (b) ceases to be an asylum-seeker at the time when his claim is recorded by the Secretary of State as having been finally determined or abandoned.
      (3) For the purposes of this section a person-
 
 
    (a) becomes a dependant of an asylum-seeker at the time when he is recorded by the Secretary of State as being a dependant of the asylum-seeker, and
 
    (b) ceases to be a dependant of an asylum-seeker at the time when the person whose dependant he is ceases to be an asylum-seeker or, if it is earlier, at the time when he is recorded by the Secretary of State as ceasing to be a dependant of the asylum-seeker.
      (4) In relation to an asylum-seeker, "dependant" means a person-
 
 
    (a) who is his spouse or a child of his under the age of eighteen, and
 
    (b) who has neither a right of abode in the United Kingdom nor indefinite leave under the Immigration Act 1971 to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.
      (5) In this section a "claim for asylum" means a claim made by a person that it would be contrary to the United Kingdom's obligations under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28th July 1951 and the Protocol to that Convention for him to be removed from, or required to leave, the United Kingdom.
 
Provision of information by Secretary of State.     187. - (1) The Secretary of State shall, at the request of a local housing authority, provide the authority with such information as they may require-
 
 
    (a) as to whether a person is or has become an asylum-seeker, or a dependant of an asylum-seeker, and
 
    (b) to enable them to determine whether such a person is eligible for assistance under this Part under section 185 (persons from abroad not eligible for housing assistance).
      (2) Where that information is given otherwise than in writing, the Secretary of State shall confirm it in writing if a written request is made to him by the authority.
 
      (3) If it appears to the Secretary of State that any application, decision or other change of circumstances has affected the status of a person about whom information was previously provided by him to a local housing authority under this section, he shall inform the authority in writing of that fact, the reason for it and the date on which the previous information became inaccurate.
 
 
Interim duty to accommodate
Interim duty to accommodate in case of apparent priority need.     188. - (1) If the local housing authority have reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority need, they shall secure that accommodation is available for his occupation pending a decision as to the duty (if any) owed to him under the following provisions of this Part.
 
      (2) The duty under this section arises irrespective of any possibility of the referral of the applicant's case to another local housing authority (see sections 198 to 200).
 
      (3) The duty ceases when the authority's decision is notified to the applicant, even if the applicant requests a review of the decision (see section 202).
 
      The authority may continue to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation pending a decision on a review.
 
Priority need for accommodation.     189. - (1) The following have a priority need for accommodation-
 
 
    (a) a pregnant woman or a person with whom she resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;
 
    (b) a person with whom dependent children reside or might reasonably be expected to reside;
 
    (c) a person who is vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability or other special reason, or with whom such a person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;
 
    (d) a person who is homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster.
      (2) The Secretary of State may by order-
 
 
    (a) specify further descriptions of persons as having a priority need for accommodation, and
 
    (b) amend or repeal any part of subsection (1).
      (3) Before making such an order the Secretary of State shall consult such associations representing relevant authorities, and such other persons, as he considers appropriate.
 
      (4) No such order shall be made unless a draft of it has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
 
Duties to persons found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness
Duties to persons becoming homeless intentionally.     190. - (1) This section applies where the local housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is homeless and is eligible for assistance but are also satisfied that he became homeless intentionally.
 
      (2) If the authority are satisfied that the applicant has a priority need, they shall-
 
 
    (a) secure that accommodation is available for his occupation for such period as they consider will give him a reasonable opportunity of securing accommodation for his occupation, and
 
    (b) provide him with advice and such assistance as they consider appropriate in the circumstances in any attempts he may make to secure that accommodation becomes available for his occupation.
      (3) If they are not satisfied that he has a priority need, they shall provide him with advice and such assistance as they consider appropriate in the circumstances in any attempts he may make to secure that accommodation becomes available for his occupation.
 
Becoming homeless intentionally.     191. - (1) A person becomes homeless intentionally if he deliberately does or fails to do anything in consequence of which he ceases to occupy accommodation which is available for his occupation and which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy.
 
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) an act or omission in good faith on the part of a person who was unaware of any relevant fact shall not be treated as deliberate.
 
      (3) A person shall be treated as becoming homeless intentionally if-
 
 
    (a) he enters into an arrangement under which he is required to cease to occupy accommodation which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy, and
 
    (b) the purpose of the arrangement is to enable him to become entitled to assistance under this Part,
  and there is no other good reason why he is homeless.
      (4) A person who is given advice or assistance under section 197 (duty where other suitable alternative accommodation available), but fails to secure suitable accommodation in circumstances in which it was reasonably to be expected that he would do so, shall, if he makes a further application under this Part, be treated as having become homeless intentionally.
 
Duty to persons not in priority need who are not homeless intentionally.     192. - (1) This section applies where the local housing authority-
 
 
    (a) are satisfied that an applicant is homeless and eligible for assistance, and
 
    (b) are not satisfied that he became homeless intentionally,
  but are not satisfied that he has a priority need.
      (2) The authority shall provide the applicant with advice and such assistance as they consider appropriate in the circumstances in any attempts he may make to secure that accommodation becomes available for his occupation.
 
Duty to persons with priority need who are not homeless intentionally.     193. - (1) This section applies where the local housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is homeless, eligible for assistance and has a priority need, and are not satisfied that he became homeless intentionally.
 
      This section has effect subject to section 197 (duty where other suitable accommodation available).
 
      (2) Unless the authority refer the application to another local housing authority (see section 198), they shall secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant.
 
      (3) The authority are subject to the duty under this section for a period of two years ("the minimum period"), subject to the following provisions of this section.
 
      After the end of that period the authority may continue to secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant, but are not obliged to do so (see section 194).
 
      (4) The minimum period begins with-
 
 
    (a) if the applicant was occupying accommodation made available under section 188 (interim duty to accommodate), the day on which he was notified of the authority's decision that the duty under this section was owed to him;
 
    (b) if the applicant was occupying accommodation made available to him under section 200(3) (interim duty where case considered for referral but not referred), the date on which he was notified under subsection (2) of that section of the decision that the conditions for referral were not met;
 
    (c) in any other case, the day on which accommodation was first made available to him in pursuance of the duty under this section.
      (5) The local housing authority shall cease to be subject to the duty under this section if the applicant, having been informed by the authority of the possible consequence of refusal, refuses an offer of accommodation which the authority are satisfied is suitable for him and the authority notify him that they regard themselves as having discharged their duty under this section.
 
      (6) The local housing authority shall cease to be subject to the duty under this section if the applicant-
 
 
    (a) ceases to be eligible for assistance,
 
    (b) becomes homeless intentionally from the accommodation made available for his occupation,
 
    (c) accepts an offer of accommodation under Part VI (allocation of housing), or
 
    (d) otherwise voluntarily ceases to occupy as his only or principal home the accommodation made available for his occupation.
      (7) The local housing authority shall also cease to be subject to the duty under this section if-
 
 
    (a) the applicant, having been informed of the possible consequence of refusal, refuses an offer of accommodation under Part VI, and
 
    (b) the authority are satisfied that the accommodation was suitable for him and that it was reasonable for him to accept it and notify him accordingly within 21 days of the refusal.
      (8) For the purposes of subsection (7) an applicant may reasonably be expected to accept an offer of accommodation under Part VI even though he is under contractual or other obligations in respect of his existing accommodation, provided he is able to bring those obligations to an end before he is required to take up the offer.
 
      (9) A person who ceases to be owed the duty under this section may make a fresh application to the authority for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation.
 
previous section contents continue
  Other UK Acts |  Home |  Scotland Legislation |  Wales Legislation |  Northern Ireland Legislation |  Her Majesty's Stationery Office

We welcome your comments on this site
© Crown copyright 1996
Prepared 22 December 1996