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Homelessness Act 2002


54.Functions under Parts 6 and 7 of the 1996 Act are exercisable, as respect Wales, by the National Assembly for Wales pursuant to the National Assembly  for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999.  Section 17 provides that the reference in that Order to the 1996 Act is treated as a reference to the Act as amended by the Act.

55.Section 18(1) gives effect toSchedule 1 which contains minor and consequential amendments. In particular, there are amendments to sections 193 and 195 of the Housing Act 1996 which require housing authorities to provide applicants owed duties under those sections with a copy of a statement of its policies on offering choice to applicants for an allocation of accommodation under Part 6. There are amendments to sections 190, 192 and 195 which place stronger duties on authorities to provide advice and assistance to applicants who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, but who either do not have priority need or have become homeless or threatened with homelessness intentionally. The amendments set out specific requirements for an assessment of the applicant’s housing needs and the provision of information about the likely availability of appropriate accommodation.

56.The Schedule also amends section 204 of the 1996 Act (right of appeal to the county court) by giving the court power to allow an appeal to be brought after the time normally allowed for such an appeal has expired.  It also substitutes a new section 209 (which limits the type of tenancies that can be offered to homeless households by a private landlord). It removes the restrictions in that section relating to the granting of assured tenancies where a registered social landlord assists a housing authority discharge its homelessness functions. There are also amendments which consolidate authorities' powers to accommodate certain applicants pending a review by the authority and an appeal to the county court of the decision on the homelessness case. These provide that, pending reviews and appeals, authorities have a discretionary power to accommodate all applicants who have priority need and are homeless. They also clarify that the power to accommodate pending an appeal does not depend on whether the power to accommodate pending the review had been exercised.

57.Section 20 deals with commencement and other matters.  Subsection (1) provides for the Act (except section 8 and paragraphs 3 and 7 of Schedule 1) to be brought into force by order.  Section 8 and paragraphs 3 and 7 of Schedule 1 came into force on Royal Assent on 26th February 2002.  Subsection (2) provides the Secretary of State with power to make transitional provisions by statutory instrument.  As respects Wales, these powers are exercisable by the National Assembly for Wales.

58.Subsection (4) provides that the provisions of the Act do not affect section 216(2) of the 1996 Act (transitional provisions which apply in relation to applications for accommodation or assistance made before commencement of Part 7 of the 1996 Act).

59.Section 21 provides that the Act extends to England and Wales only. It also applies the legislation to the Isles of Scilly with a power for the Secretary of State to modify the application by order.

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