Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service to replace Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme
Justice Minister said today -
‘... many people faced with the loss of their home do not engage with the legal process at an early stage, most commonly due to not understanding the legalities involved, feeling nothing can be done to change the outcome or denial about the gravity of the situation. This, and the currently limited early advice available, means that many people attend court for possession proceedings without having previously sought legal advice or representation. Sometimes this means that cases go to court where other routes of resolution would be more appropriate.
Our proposals set out an ambitious new model ... Our aim is to ensure that clients can access high-quality support as early in the process as possible, while ensuring the service is financially viable for providers to deliver.’
NB - as part of the changes, the govt proposes that the scope of legal aid will be expanded so that HLPAS providers will be able to offer early legal advice on social welfare law matters to those who have received a notice seeking possession of their home.
What an absolute farce - this all stems from LASPO in 2013 and the significant reductions to both housing and welfare benefits legal aid. The fact they’re having to chop and change like this is entirely down to government decisions and cuddly Ken Clarke and that they’re now trying to desperately dig themselves out of a hole of their own making makes me completely exasperated.
Opinion piece from Chris Minnoch, CEO of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, in Legal Action:
Chris Minnoch argues that while the government’s proposals for Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes have some merit, they ignore the key issue of sustainability.