Letters for ending the homelessness prevention duty

15.05.2018

Letters are now available in the Resources section for homeless officers in England who wish to end the section 195 prevention duty, following the amendments made by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

A photograph of a rope breaking

New letters:

There's a letter for each discharge ground listed at section 195(8) of the Housing Act 1996:

Worth it?

Most of the above grounds don't prevent the applicant simply re-applying for help when they've become homeless. If this is the case, the applicant will then be owed the s.189B(2) relief duty, notwithstanding that the prevention duty was discharged.

Decision-makers therefore need to think carefully before ending the prevention duty. If the relief duty may subsequently be owed (if the applicant re-applies) then closing down a homeless application may result in opportunities to prevent homelessness being lost.

Ending prevention & accepting relief

I previously uploaded letters for ending the prevention duty in the situation where the applicant has become homeless and is therefore owed the section 189B(2) relief duty.

There are two versions of this type of letter, depending on whether the interim accommodation duty is also owed:

More effective written communications

As previously mentioned the aim of these template letters is to provide more straightforward and plain-English alternatives for homeless officers when compared with some of the other standard letters out there. 

The contents of each letter are broken up into 'digestible chunks' by using a question and answer format. And I've tried to avoid jargon as much as possible.

If you like, think of them as templates you can use and adapt if you want to give homeless applicants a fighting chance of understanding the written notifications they receive.

Forthcoming

I hope to upload letters dealing with the 'non-cooperation' sanction shortly.

I'll also be uploading a similar batch of letters for ending the relief duty in due course.

How do I download these letters?

You can only download these letters if you work for a council or registered social housing provider and have created an account using your work email address.

More advice about downloading is available in the FAQs section.

If you experience any difficulties accessing the letters you can also contact me.


*No, section 195(8)(f) doesn't make sense to me either. Perhaps I should award a prize to anyone who manages to use this particular letter.

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