The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA),effective from April 2018, increases the duties for all local authorities to help those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness rather than just those with a 'priority need' for accommodation.
Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness
The period from which the Council are required to provide assistance to people at risk of losing their accommodation has been extended to 56 rather than the 28 day timescale that existed before the HRA was introduced. This ensures that people who have been served a valid section 21 notice are entitled to assistance from the Council to prevent their homelessness straight away.
Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness
Local authorities now have a duty to relieve homelessness for those who do not have accommodation available to them irrespective of any 'intentionally homeless' or 'priority need' status. This means that all eligible households are entitled to assistance to relieve their homelessness from a local authority for 56 days.