Homelessness Code of Guidance revised (ever so slightly)


The statutory guidance for administering homelessness applications in England has undergone its first post-Homelessness Reduction Act revision.

The updated version, which has been in force since 20th June, is available here.

The specific changes are recorded via the 'see all updates' link on the main guidance page, or by referring to the 'Version Control Sheet' at the front of the pdf version.

The actual changes made to the guidance on this occasion aren't of any great significance. And we don't have the mooted second Annex reflecting last month's revised Local Authorities' Agreement on local connection.

It's important to note that the Ministry of Housing don't appear to be keeping the previous version available online.

Clearly it could be important to retain earlier versions (whether you administer applications or represent applicants).

A question might arise about whether a council had regard to a particular recommendation or piece of guidance. Reference will then have be made to the version in force when the decision was made.

As long as there's no archive of previous versions it probably pays to keep copies of each version.

For this reason it's reassuring that the Ministry of Housing has updated the pdf version. While the online version is stated to be the definitive version the practical task of retrospectively identifying the text in force at various points in time will be very difficult unless we have pdf versions. Particularly if, as these amendments suggests, the revisions will be regular and piecemeal.

[Edit 25/06/2018: I've now received an email from the Ministry of Housing. It confirms that they will be creating an archive containing the pdfs of previous Codes of Guidance on their website, so they can be accessed retrospectively.]


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