NEW government legislation is set to give Ryedale District Council expanded powers to assist families and single people who are at risk of becoming homeless.
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 will increase the ways in which the council can provide advice and assistance to prevent and relieve homelessness at an earlier stage than previously.
Among the key points of the new Act are:
- If it is believed a person is threatened with becoming homeless within 56 days, the council will take additional steps to give them assistance. Previously the statutory period was 28 days;
- All eligible applicants threatened with homelessness, regardless of priority need can be supported for at least 56 days, in order to help them prevent impending homelessness or secure suitable accommodation;
- The council will agree a personal housing plan with customers threatened with homelessness, and work with them to ensure they have suitable accommodation.
The new Act will increase the amount of work undertaken at a local level therefore improvements and changes are necessary to ensure the Council is prepared to implement the new processes to support people in need of assistance.
Councillor Luke Ives, Chairman of the Councils Policy & Resources Committee said: “We already have an excellent track record of going beyond our statutory duties to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, despite the shortage of affordable housing in Ryedale and the high cost of private sector rents. The Council also manages supported accommodation for those in housing need and provides a range of key life skills to help young people develop and build confidence to get them into a position where they can apply for job and secure a tenancy on a property,
“The Homelessness Reduction Act rightly received cross party support in Parliament. We have a good basis for implementing the new duties when the Act comes into force and I have every confidence that the Council will embrace the proposed changes”