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Homelessness Act 2002

Summary and Background

3.The Act makes reforms to the legislation on homelessness and the allocation of social housing which have been the subject of extensive consultation. The Act extends to England and Wales only.

4.The Act requires local housing authorities to adopt a strategic approach to tackling homelessness. It also improves the protection available to people who are homeless through no fault of their own. It achieves this by strengthening the duties owed to homeless people, by removing certain limitations on how authorities can assist homeless people and by giving authorities additional powers to assist homeless people who do not have priority need. The provisions have been framed in recognition of the need for local housing authorities to have integrated policies on tackling homelessness and allocating housing. It, therefore, also makes amendments to the provisions relating to the allocation of social housing accommodation.

5.These proposals were outlined in chapter nine of the Housing Green Paper, "Quality and Choice: A decent home for all" (April 2000). Public consultation on the Green Paper ran from 4 April until 31 July 2000. This policy was confirmed in chapters six and seven of the Housing Policy Statement "The way forward for housing" (December 2000).

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