Sections 225 & 226: Housing needs assessment
537.Section 225 requires local housing authorities to review the accommodation needs of 'gypsies and travellers' in their district when carrying out reviews of housing needs under s.8 of the Housing Act 1985.
538.Section 225(1) states that the gypsies and travellers who reside in an area (i.e. who currently live there), or who resort to an area (i.e. who pass through from time to time) will have their needs assessed.
539.The development of local authority housing strategies is covered by s.87 of the Local Government Act 2003. Under that section, the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales may require an LHA to prepare and supply them with a strategy in respect of some housing matter. It is anticipated that the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales will require LHAs to prepare and supply a strategy under that section in respect of the meeting of the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers in their district.
540.Section 225(3) requires local authorities to take any such strategy into account when exercising their other functions. This can include functions relating to planning, education, social care etc as well as housing.
541.Section 225(4) states that local authorities must take into account any guidance issued when carrying out needs assessments and preparing strategies.
542.Section 225(5) also allows for regulations to be issued which define gypsies and travellers.
543.Section 226 allows for the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to issue guidance on the carrying out of housing needs assessments and the preparation of strategies to meet those needs. It sets out the process by which guidance covering England must be laid before Parliament.