5 July, 16

Homelessness

Local authorities have a duty to house people who are homeless if they satisfy certain criteria.

Legal aid is available if a local authority has acted unlawfully.

GT Stewart’s housing team are hugely experienced in all aspects of homelessness law and can help you challenge unlawful decisions made by local authorities.

All local authorities must accept homelessness applications

The application can be made in any form: the application does not have to be in writing.

A local authority cannot delay the acceptance of a homelessness application: they cannot send you away and tell you to come back for an appointment.

Duty to provide temporary accommodation pending the outcome of a homelessness application

If a local authority thinks that you might:

  • Be homelessness.
  • Be eligible for housing assistance (this relates to your immigration status)
  • Have some kind of vulnerability (this might be because you are pregnant or have children, if you were in care when you were younger, if you have been in prison or if you have any mental or physical health issues)

They must immediately provide you with temporary accommodation which is suitable for your needs, until they make a decision on your homelessness application.

A local authority should make their decision on your homelessness application within 33 working days from the date that you made your homelessness application.

If the local authority’s decision is negative, you have 21 working days to request a review of that decision

We can help you prepare representations in writing in support of your review.

The local authority must complete their review decision within 8 weeks.

If the local authority does not make their review decision within 8 weeks or if the decision is negative, then legal aid might be available to bring an appeal in the County Court.

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