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By J
03/03/2009

Allocations and Homelessness amendments

Before the excitement of Ahmed tomorrow, there are two legislative developments to note.

Firstly, the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/358, has just been published. It waives the requirement for a person to be a “habitual resident” of the UK in order for that person to be given assistance under Part 7 or an allocation under Part 6 if:

(a) the person arrived in Great Britain between 28 February 2009 and 18 March 2011;

(b) immediately before arriving in Great Britain, the person had been resident in Zimbabwe; and

(c) before leaving Zimbabwe, had accepted an offer from HM Government, to assist that person to settle in the UK.

This SI only applies to England.

The Government thinks that this will apply to about 3,000 people, of whom, 750 are expected to take advantage of the provisions. The explanatory notes are here.

Secondly (and hat tip to Garden Court for this one) it appears that today (2 March 2009) is the commencement date for s.314 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008. This will introduce a new category of “restricted persons” into housing law for the purposes of Part 7 and is intended to remedy the declaration of incompatibility granted in R (Morris) v Westminster. However, no commencement order has been published! What Garden Court have obtained, however, is a copy of the CLG letter to Chief Housing Officers, giving today as the commencement date.

I know we have some CLG readers – any idea what is going on?

[Edit – today (5 March 09) the CLG finally published the notice of intention to bring s.314 into effect. Still no sign of the commencement order though!]

J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.

3 Comments

  1. Cait

    On the second one – forgive me for what might be a stupid question…
    but does this mean that if the applicant is eligible – but the dependent or spouse *was not* (previously)

    Then for the purposes of priority need they ARE now relevant?

    If so – yippeee!

    Cait

    Reply
    • J

      Yes – remember that in Morris, Ms Morris was eligible but her child was not, with the result that the child was not taken into account under the Part 7 application. The result of the amendments is that a previously excluded person (such as the child) must now be considered but, if that means that the full duty is owed, then the duty is discharged through offering private sector accomodation.

      Reply
  2. Cait

    Grrr there had to be a catch.

    Thanks J.

    Reply

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