Drafting homelessness decision letters

A one-day training course for homelessness decision makers

Picture of someone writing a homeless decision letter

Crucial document

The section 184 homelessness decision letter is a crucial document.  It’s the primary record of how the council have decided what duties (if any) a homeless applicant is owed. It must clearly set out what information was taken into account. It must also include the council’s reasons for any decision that a duty isn’t owed.

There are also a variety of other decisions councils take on homeless applications that may also need to be set out in writing.

Many legal challenges by homeless applicants are based on errors in how the decision was communicated in the decision letter - even if the decision itself (eg whether the applicant has a priority need) was lawfully available to the decision-maker.

This course helps decision-makers improve their letter drafting skills. 

Who should attend

This course is suitable for:

  • Staff who make decisions on homelessness applications and draft decision notification letters.
  • Staff who review first instance decisions under section 202 of the Housing Act 1996.

Avoiding the pitfalls

Improving how staff approach decision letters must be based on a thorough understanding of the legal rules governing how decisions must be made. Put another way, decision-makers must understand the public law errors that would render their decisions unlawful.

Attendees will therefore also learn how improving their drafting skills relates to wider principles on which good decision making is based (i.e. the public law grounds for judicial review).

This course includes:

  • Practical exercises requiring attendees to apply the material covered.
  • Examples from case law of how many unlawful decisions on homeless applications resulted from how the decision was approached and drafting errors in the decision notification letter.
  • Examples of good and bad decision letters.

About the trainer 

Mark has undertaken hundreds of homelessness review for local authorities. He is experienced in dealing with submissions made by applicants' legal representatives. Barristers have complimented Mark on his decision drafting skills.


Contact me if you're interested in booking this course.

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