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14 March, 2024

Extending temporary easement of suitability obligations on England’s local authorities to help manage increased homelessness pressures due to humanitarian crises and broader migration pressures

New statutory instrument also expires a second temporary easement relating to the six-week maximum period that local authorities can accommodate a person with family commitments in B&B accommodation

13 March, 2024

Debt advice organisations call for stronger protection for tenants who fall into rent arrears than those currently included in Renters (Reform) Bill

Joint letter to DLUHC Secretary of State calls for new Tenancy Support Programme instead of mandatory eviction ground so that evictions on the grounds of arrears would only ever happen as a last resort

13 March, 2024

Welsh Government confirms that 18 local authorities will be applying higher discretionary council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties from April 2024

Minister adds that a number of councils have also indicated they will increase the percentage charged year on year, over a three-year period, particularly for long-term empty properties

12 March, 2024

Housing Ombudsman consults on new Business Plan in ‘pivotal’ year for housing sector as key changes under Social Housing (Regulation) Act commence

Consultation follows another record year in cases, that have increased by more than 90 per cent with a more than 70 per cent maladministration rate

11 March, 2024

Government sets out proposals to exempt categories of dwellings from new council tax premium rules in England

Writing to local authorities, DLUHC confirms that new rules relating to empty homes and second homes will come into effect from April 2024

4 March, 2024

Possession claims in England and Wales included as specified ‘relevant proceedings’ in the course of which the county court may make a Domestic Abuse Protection Order

New statutory instrument also lists other forms of civil proceeding that the court has powers to make such an order

1 March, 2024

Number of households in temporary accommodation in September 2023 was up by 10 per cent on previous year

New DLUHC figures also show that almost 70,000 of the 109,000 households who were in temporary accommodation included children

1 March, 2024

Ombudsman finds that a local council appeared to forget about a homeless family that it had initially accepted a duty to house, leading to the family having to sofa surf for 12 months

Waltham Forest Council agrees to apologise to the family and pay them £6,000 compensation for the time they spent without interim accommodation

1 March, 2024

29 February, 2024

Annual snapshot of rough sleeping in England reveals ‘appalling’ spike in numbers

New data highlights that the number sleeping rough has risen by 27 per cent since 2022, and that rough sleeping has increased in every region of England

29 February, 2024

APPG welcomes change to homelessness guidance in relation to the provision of cots for children under 2 in temporary accommodation

Change follows 'Silent Nightmare' campaign that called for government action to ensure that young children have access to a safe place to sleep and a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

29 February, 2024

Regulator sets out new consumer standards to drive improvements in social housing

Designed to protect tenants and improve the service they receive, the new standards will come into effect from 1 April 2024

28 February, 2024

Concern that government’s 'better deal for renters' could be being transformed into a Landlord Bill of Rights

Reports today that Ministers are consulting backbench MPs on watering down planned protections in the Renters (Reform) Bill, and that agreement seems to have been reached on nearly all points

27 February, 2024

Extent of homelessness in Scotland continues to rise across majority of measures with more than 15,000 households in temporary accommodation as at September 2023

However, Scottish Government highlights that new statistics show a decrease in the number of households homeless from private rented tenancies, likely due to cost of living legislation that was introduced in October 2022

27 February, 2024

Despite additional funding in Welsh Government’s Final Budget 2024/2025, more investment is needed to tackle housing crisis in Wales

Failure to ensure that everyone in Wales has a safe, sustainable and affordable home 'will cost us billions down the track', says CIH Cymru

23 February, 2024

MPs warn that homelessness among Ukrainians in the UK is likely to increase as Homes for Ukraine scheme arrangements break down

Public Accounts Committee also confirms that it is asking government for further information on whether recent changes to visa provisions for Ukrainian nationals will include options for permanent settlement

20 February, 2024

More than 50,000 victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation received support under duty on local authorities in 2022/2023

However, annual progress report on implementation of duty in England also finds that local authorities failed to provide support in almost 25,000 cases, with capacity constraints cited as most common reason

20 February, 2024

Failings by Hammersmith and Fulham Council left residents ‘feeling anything but secure in their homes’

Special investigation by Housing Ombudsman finds a maladministration rate of almost 90 per cent across 33 cases and makes a series of recommendations into both repair and complaint handling

19 February, 2024

Government rushes in changes to Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme to avoid triggering a ‘misplaced surge in applications’

Period of permission granted to new applicants reduced from 36 months to 18 months, and changes introduced to sponsor eligibility criteria, with immediate effect