The Secretary of State shall each year publish a Social Housing Plan setting out how the needs of homeless people in England and Wales will be met
On 16th December 2019, we launched the Elimination of Homelessness Bill. It was drafted by Ian Wise QC from a brief by Professor Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK, following discussions initiated by Taxpayers Against Poverty. A full brief is available here.
Social Housing, Affordable Rents and Elimination of Homlessness Bill
Make further provision for the elimination of homelessness and for connected purposes
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
Registered Social Landlords
Disposal of Land
Section 8 of the Housing Act 1996 be amended as follows:
Delete section 8(1) and insert:
“(1) A registered social landlord shall not dispose of land otherwise than for the purpose of the provision of social housing unless specifically authorised to do so by the Secretary of State”
Section 175 of the Housing Act 1996 (homelessness and threatened homelessness) is amended as follows:
After subsection (3) insert: 3(A)
(i) Accommodation is not reasonable to occupy if it is unaffordable for the tenant.
(ii) Accommodation isunaffordable for the tenant if after paying the rent, income and council taxes the tenant’s income (together with that of other occupiers of the property) falls below a reasonable minimum having regard to the health and well-being of the tenant.
After subsection (5) insert:
(6) Each local authority in England and Wales is required to inform the Secretary of State by 1 January each year of:
The number of homeless persons residing in its area; and
The number and size of social housing units necessary to meet the needs of homeless persons in its area
an estimate of the cost of buying empry property and land to needed to meet the needs of homeless persons in the area..
(7) The Secretary of State shall be required to eliminate homelessness in England and Wales. In order to do so he shall:
Each year publish a Social Housing Plan setting out how the needs of homeless people in each local authority area in England and Wales will be met;
Take such action as is necessary to ensure the delivery of the said Social Housing Plan, including the provision of sufficient funds to enable adequate social housing to be provided to meet the needs of homeless people for accommodation;
In order to take the necessary action to ensure the delivery of the said Social Housing Plan, take steps to promote the building of sufficient social housing (whether by local authorities, social landlords, community land trusts or otherwise) and authorise the purchase by local authorities of properties for sale in its area or such properties that have been vacant for more than six months; and
Report to Parliament annually on the delivery of the Social Housing Plan referred to at (a) above.
Extent, commencement and short title.
This Act extends to England and Wales only.
This Act comes into force on the day on which the Act is passed
This Act may be cited as the ‘Elimination of Homelessness Act’.