By J
18/03/2011

The Schleswig-Holstein Question

As Lord Palmerstone might have said: “Only three people have ever really understood this eligibility business – the Prince Consort, who is dead – a German professor, who has gone mad – and I, who have forgotten all about it.” That, frankly, sums up my (and, I suspect, your*) view of eligibility and Part 7, Housing Act 1996.

Sadly, as all housing lawyers know, it’s impossible to understand homelessness law these days without also having a basic grasp of immigration law and, of course, the rights of EU nationals. Since 2004, there has been (in effect) a two-tier system for EU nationals, with nationals of the A8 states (Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia) and the A2 states (Romania and Bulgaria) having various restrictions imposed on them.

The restrictions on the A8 states are, broadly, a requirement to comply with the Worker Registration Scheme and, if they’re in the UK otherwise than in accordance with the scheme (subject, as always, to exceptions), then they’ve got no right to reside and, hence, are not eligible for assistance under Pt 7, Housing Act 1996.

The restrictions in the WRS were part of a temporary package of measures approved when the A8 joined the EU. That temporary package expires on May 1, 2011 and cannot be renewed. Accordingly, an SI has been made which will bring the WRS restrictions to an end (subject to transitional provisions): see the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) (Revocation, Saving and Consequential Provisions) Order 2011. The position is that, from May 1, 2011, A8 nationals are to be treated like other EU nationals.

*except Toby and Adrian

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.

5 Comments

  1. NL

    You can’t mean we are not to treat Toby and Adrian like all other EU nationals, surely? That would be a strangely specific exception for an SI to make.

    Reply
  2. Francis Davey

    And the Schleswig-Holstein question was really not complicated at all (certainly not compared with some other questions that arose in the Holy Roman Empire). Palmerston was exaggerating.

    One is reminded of Eddington’s being asked “Is it true that only three people in the world understand relativity?” and replying “Who’s the third?” (this is Special Relativity which requires that one understand enough maths to take a square root and no more – so really not rocket science).

    Reply
  3. The.Dark.One

    In the revocations shouldn’t they be revoking reg 4(2)(c) and 6(2)(c) of the The Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006?

    Reply
  4. The.Dark.One

    Although I suppose it may still be needed for those who were required to register to work and are claming to have retained worker status?

    Reply
    • J

      I think that must be right – there will continue to be transitional provisions for people who should/could/did apply before April 30, 2011. Presumably the 2006 Regs need to be left as they are (at least for the moment) to deal with such people.

      Reply

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