16th June 2021
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Homelessness and Covid-19 pandemic
On 13 June 2021 the Observer reported that it had sourced data showing that at least 130,000 households in England were made homeless during the first year of the pandemic. According to the report, analysis of published government homelessness statistics and figures collected under the Freedom of Information Act from around 70 per cent of local authorities in England show that 132,362 households were assessed by councils as being owed the “relief duty”, where a household is deemed to already be homeless. For the report, click here.

Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
These regulations, which come into force on 29 June 2021, amend the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 (“the Eligibility Regulations”). The Eligibility Regulations prescribe classes of persons excepted from sections 160ZA(2) and 185(2) of the Housing Act 1996. Those sections provide that a person who is subject to immigration control is ineligible for an allocation of housing accommodation by a local authority under Part VI of that Act, or for housing assistance under Part VII of that Act. For the Amendment Regulations, click here. For the Eligibility Regulations, click here. For a letter notifying local authorities of changes to the housing eligibility regulations, click here.

Rough sleepers
On 10 June 2021 Rough Sleeping and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes announced a new social investment pilot that will create over 200 move-on homes for rough sleepers. As part of a three-year pilot, which will run until 2024, £15 million of government funding will be combined with a further £15 million provided by Big Society Capital, a social impact investor. The pilot will fund homes across England with a particular focus in London, Greater Manchester and in Teesside. For the announcement, click here.

Rough sleeping in the UK: 2002 to 2021
On 10 June 2021 the Office for National Statistics published a report on the latest trends from rough sleeping statistics across the UK and how existing statistics can be compared. Because of the different methods and statistics across the UK, it is difficult to report definitively on trends in rough sleeping for the UK as a whole. Trends in rough sleeping levels in each country of the UK vary, with recent peaks in either 2017 or 2018. In 2020, according to the report, snapshot estimates of rough sleeping levels were lower than previous years, possibly related to policy responses, including providing emergency accommodation during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to people who sleep rough. For the report, click here.

Tackling anti-social behaviour: case studies
On 8 June 2021 the Local Government Association published a series of case studies to highlight some examples of best practice across local government in tackling anti-social behaviour. The case studies highlight how councils have been working in partnership to deliver support for ASB victims and tackle perpetrators’ behaviour. For the case studies, click here.

Debt Respite Scheme
On 9 June 2021 the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper providing a summary of the background to the Breathing Space Regulations. It also provides a detailed explanation of how breathing space moratoriums work in practice. For the briefing paper, click here.

Rental Mediation Service guidance
On 28 May 2021 the MHCLG published guidance on the new Rental Mediation Service for landlords and tenants undergoing possession proceedings. In February 2021, a new mediation pilot was introduced as part of the current court process for housing possession cases. The mediation pilot is free to use for landlords and tenants involved in a housing possession court case and helps resolve cases without the need for a face to face court hearing. All parties must agree on the outcome and feel they have reached an acceptable resolution. The service is part of the government’s work with the judiciary on new court arrangements to support all parties in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19). For the guidance, click here.

Covid-19: Updated guidance for hostel services
On 9 June 2021 the MHCLG published updated guidance for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping in the light of Covid-19. The guidance covers hostels with individual self-contained rooms with en-suite facilities that have shared kitchens; and hostels without individual self-contained rooms and that have communal facilities. It does not cover night shelters. For the guidance, click here.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: statement on fourth anniversary
On 14 June 2021, the fourth anniversary of the fire at Grenfell Tower, The Inquiry Panel made the following statement:

“We know that this is a very difficult time for all those who have been affected by the fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017. On this fourth anniversary of the tragedy the Panel and the whole of the Inquiry team offer their deepest sympathy to the bereaved, survivors and other members of the community whose lives were shattered by it.

“We shall continue to put every effort into uncovering the causes of the fire and remain determined to provide the answers which the community seeks.”

Housing Ombudsman publishes social value policy
On 10 June 2021 the Housing Ombudsman published its social value policy. To read the policy, click here.

Contempt of court proceedings in housing case ended by apologies: Kirklees
On 4 June 2021 Kirklees Council reported that High Court contempt of court proceedings against two sisters had been ended by their public apologies. The proceedings arose from false statements made in the witness box during a five-day possession order hearing brought by the council in 2017. Hannah Rafiq and Ayshia Rafiq applied in 2013 for a Kirklees Council property, saying that their mother had asked them to move out. Five months on, not being a priority for housing, they re-applied as homeless, saying they were suffering “honour-based” domestic violence from their father and were soon after allocated a three-bed property in Batley. Investigations by the council found the house was not being used and that the siblings continued to live in Huddersfield with their mother. The council issued possession proceedings. The court accepted the sisters’ public apologies as an end to the proceedings and commented that the Council has been sensible in negotiating a settlement to avoid the high costs to the public purse of a five-day trial. For the report, click here.

RSH announces tenant satisfaction measures sounding board
On 7 June 2021 the Regulator of Social Housing announced that the regulator will work with representatives from across the social housing sector on a set of measures to inform regulation and help tenants hold landlords to account. The Government’s Social Housing White Paper asked for a new consumer regulation function to be delivered within the Regulator of Social Housing to help reset the relationship between landlords and tenants across the sector. To implement the changes, decisions need to be made about three broad areas. These are:

  • any changes needed to our consumer standards
  • an operating model for the consumer regulation which will define how the regulator checks whether providers are meeting the standards and respond if they are not
  • and finally a set of tenant satisfaction measures that will help tenants and the regulator hold providers to account and inform our regulation.

A sounding board with representatives from across the sector has been set up to help develop detailed proposals about how tenant satisfaction measures could be implemented in practice. For more details, click here.

Covid vaccination and young homeless people
On 14 June 2021 it was reported that Groundswell and St Basils have joined forces to co-produce an information campaign to encourage uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine among young people experiencing homelessness. For a blog article by Becky Evans, Fundraising and Communications Manager at Groundswell, click here.

Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill
This Government Bill would make provision about the rent payable under long leases of dwellings. First reading in the House of Lords took place on 12 May 2021. Second reading took place on 24 May 2021. The Bill began its committee stage on 9 June 2021. For the Bill as introduced, click here. To follow progress of the Bill, click here.

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Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 Draft Regulations
The Welsh Government is consulting on:

  • draft model written statements regulations, including the design, structure and order of the model written statements
  • draft explanatory information regulations for written statements.

The consultation ends on 16 June 2021. For the consultation document, click here. For the draft regulations, click here.


Once a renter, always a renter? Liam Reynolds Shelter Blog 8 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

Affordable housing must be at the heart of the Government’s legislative agenda Leigh Pearce CIH Blog 9 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

Why I turned down an MBE for services to homeless people Gill Taylor Guardian 9 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

Property guardians, council properties, licensable HMOs and RROs against directors Giles Peaker Nearly Legal 9 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

There is an evictions crisis happening right under our noses Aditya Chakrabortty Guardian 10 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

Grenfell four years on: still no justice on regulation Tarun Bhakta Shelter Blog 11 June 2021 – to read the article, click here

Housing: recent developments (June 21) Jan Luba QC and Sam Madge-Wyld Legal Action June 2021 – to read the article (subscription required), click here


24 June 2021                                       
Deadline for applications to the Waking Watch Relief Fund

29 June 2021                                       
Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 come into force (see Housing Law News and Policy Issues)

1 July 2021                                          
Councils will begin to accept applications from mobile home site owners to be registered as a ‘fit and proper person’

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Featured Job of the Week

Housing Options Officer
Central Bedfordshire Council

In Housing Solutions, we deliver Housing Options services to people, particularly the vulnerable and homeless.

The post requires a confident, engaging and a diplomatic communicator to ensure the service can meet the daily demands of clients who are homeless, threatened with homelessness or require housing advice.

You will be providing comprehensive and specialist housing advice service to members of the public. This will involve advising customers of all their housing options and their legal rights.

You need to be resilient and thrive in a high pressured, fast paced environment. Experience of managing a busy and demanding caseload is essential. Experience of good planning and organisational skills, prioritising and organising caseloads is also required. Experience of assessing applications under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and part 7 of the 1996 Housing Act is essential.

You will be working as part of a friendly team seeking to provide person-centred housing options to some of the most vulnerable people looking for homes.

For an informal discussion about this position, please contact: Niasia Blair at niasia.blair@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or on 0300 300 6975.

For queries related to the recruitment of this vacancy, please contact: The Recruitment team at recruitment@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or on 0300 300 8000.

Apprentice Private Housing Standards Officer
Sheffield City Council
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Rough Sleeper Coordinator & Outreach Officer
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Lettings Coordinator
Swindon Borough Council
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Housing Solutions Prevention Officer
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Temporary Accommodation Contracts Manager
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Administrator – Housing
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Team Leader x 3 – Housing With Care
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Housing Systems Co-ordinator (temporary up to 12 months)
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Housing Apprentice
Crawley Borough Council
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