Letters for ending the homeless relief duty

29.05.2018

Free letters are now available for homeless officers in England who wish to end the homelessness 'relief' duty.

Picture of keyboard end button

There are links to each letter below.

Yes, I know. I'm spoiling you homelessness folk recently.

A few of the following letters were previously available, but there's now a full suite of templates for ending the relief duty.

This is the 56-day duty to take reasonable steps to help homeless persons obtain accommodation (under section 189B of the Housing Act 1996).

The letters

Ending the relief duty when the applicant is NOT in temporary accommodation

The following should be used when interim accommodation hasn’t been provided:

Ending the relief duty AND the s.188 interim accommodation duty

The following are for when you’ve secured interim accommodation:

Too many versions?

At first glance there might seem to be far too many letters. The sheer number is confusing, particularly if you encounter them in one 'lump'.

An explanation is therefore required (and for staff probably some kind of tool in your software, to help them locate the relevant document and avoid bamboozlement).

There are eight statutory grounds which councils can use to end the relief duty. Most of them are listed at section 189B(7). In addition the duty can be ended under section 193A (refusal of final offer) and under sections 193B and 193C (refusal to cooperate).

However, in practice decision-makers are likely to need more than eight letters. This is because there are a variety of situations which letters need to make specific provision for, depending on:

  • whether interim accommodation also needs to be withdrawn, and
  • whether a section 184 decision on priority need and intentionality also needs to be notified (and if so, what the decision is regarding priority need and intentionality).

So having additional versions provides staff with tailored templates that, so far as possible, don't require fundamental alteration.

Of course decision-makers will always need to make some amendments. Most obviously they need to be prepared to:

  • summarise how the facts of the case demonstrate that the relevant legal tests are satisfied in the particular case, and
  • give reasons for adverse findings.

In relation to the number of letters it's also worth bearing in mind that some of the following letters are included merely for the sake of completeness. They'll rarely be used in practice (e.g. becoming ineligible during the relief period).

How do I download these letters?

As access to these is reserved for council and PRPSH staff you'll need to:

  • create an account using a council or housing association email address (if you haven't already done so)
  • wait for your 'official' status to be approved (you'll receive a second email after creating the account), and then
  • go to the relevant page for the particular document in the Resources section.

Feel free to drop me a line if you experience any difficulties when trying to create an account or download the letters.

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