The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into effect today. There is a change to the definition of ‘threatened with homelessness’, which has beneficial knock on effect in terms of eligibility for legal aid.
From today, people in England qualify for advice if they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This is due to a link in definitions between legal aid and homelessness legislation. Under the Housing Act 1996, they had to wait until homelessness was 28 days away before they were considered ‘threatened with homelessness’ and therefore qualifying for advice. Wales adopted the 56 day definition in 2015.
People threatened with homelessness are entitled (subject to means and merits) to advice on entitlement and suitability of accommodation, as well as assistance with making an application and any appeal that may follow.
The LAA’s announcement is here.