Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into force on 3 April 2018. We have a legal duty to offer support to a wider range of people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. We must help from an early stage with the aim of stopping you from losing your current home. Or we must take steps to help you to secure accommodation.
The Act has changed the way that we tackle homelessness. We now have two new duties as well as the main housing duty.
Duty to prevent homelessness
If you are already homeless when you approach us, we will help you. We will give you advice and help you find suitable accommodation for you and your family. The council will only provide you with emergency accommodation if we have reason to believe you may be in priority need. Contact us immediately if you become homeless so that we can act quickly and help you.
Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness
If you are already homeless when you approach us, we will help you. We will give you advice and help you find suitable accommodation for you and your family. The council will only provide you with emergency accommodation if we have reason to believe you may be in priority need priority need. Contact us immediately if you become homeless so that we can act quickly and help you.
The Main Housing Duty
When the duties above come to an end, we will assess whether you are owed the main housing duty. This would apply if you:
- remain homeless after the relief duty comes to an end
- are in priority need
- have not made yourself homeless on purpose
We have a duty to find suitable alternative accommodation for you.
Please remember that we are responding to a crisis situation. This means that you may spend many years in temporary accommodation while bidding for a permanent home. Any offer made under the main housing duty is likely to be in the private sector.
Remember that homelessness is not a fast track to social housing:
- you will be given a new registration date. It makes no difference if you have already spent time on the waiting list
- you will also only have one offer of permanent accommodation.
There are no council homes available in Torbay. Social housing is offered by various housing associations.
All social housing available in Devon is advertised through Devon Home Choice.
We operate Choice based letting scheme and you would need to bid for properties you are interested in.
The Homelessness Reduction Act provides an opportunity to work more closely with partners. They must notify us of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Duty to refer came into force on 1 October 2018. The public bodies that have this statutory duty are:
- youth offender institutions
- secure training centres
- secure colleges
- youth offending teams
- probation services, including community rehabilitation companies
- Jobcentre Plus
- social service authorities
- emergency departments
- urgent treatment centres
- hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
The Housing Options Service will work with the named public bodies under the Duty to Refer. It is important that we are notified as soon as possible.
The above public bodies can refer details of any person within 56 days, via the duty to refer portal.
Please be aware that consent must be sought before making a referral.