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Public bodies duty for homelessness

The government has outlined how councils and public bodies must support the homeless or those at risk of losing their home under their new duties introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act.

Prisons, probation services, Jobcentres and NHS Trusts now have a duty to help those at risk of becoming homeless and refer them to a housing authority. Councils will now be required to ensure the advice and information they provide is designed to meet the needs of particular at risk groups including care leavers, people leaving prison, people who have left the armed forces, survivors of domestic abuse and those suffering from a mental illness.

In addition to new duties to refer those at risk of homelessness, the reforms will include providing free information and advice on preventing homelessness and the rights of homeless people, to all residents, including information tailored to the needs of particularly vulnerable groups, and a new duty for those who are already homeless so that that local authorities will work with them for 56 days to help secure accommodation.

Read UK Government - Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities