What the changes in homelessness law mean for you

On 3 April 2018 the law in England changed. The Homelessness Reduction Act means local councils now have to give more help to people who are homeless or might lose their homes.

Why was HRA  introduced?

The Act is based on the work of an independent panel of experts established by Crisis (the national charity for single homeless people) and draws heavily on changes made to the Welsh homeless legislation in 2015. Crisis highlighted a number of issues with the way the current law was working in practice:

  • A lack of meaningful advice and assistance, which in some areas was not tailored to the individual's needs
  • Some local authorities were only helping at crisis point
  • Local authorities were doing prevention work, but it was outside of the legal framework
  • There was little protection for single people who did not have priority need or those who were 'intentionally homeless'


The Act aims to reduce homelessness by:

  • Improving the quality of the advice available
  • Refocusing local authorities on prevention work
  • Increasing support for single people
  • Joining up services to provide better support for people, especially those leaving prison/hospital and other groups at increased risk of homelessness, such as people fleeing domestic abuse and care leavers

Below are the key changes and what you now expect after these changes

Last updated: 15/12/2020 10:29:37