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NHAS assist advice agency in securing emergency accommodation for trafficking victim and disabled son

Posted on 14/10/21 in Case Study

NHAS assist advice agency in securing emergency accommodation for trafficking victim and disabled son

Our free advice line gives specialist advice on housing, housing debt, and welfare benefit issues. Recently an NHAS adviser assisted an advice agency in securing emergency accommodation for a trafficking victim and her disabled son. The client had been a victim of sexual assault and was originally denied emergency accommodation from a neighbouring local authority. 

What was the problem?

An advice agency contacted our advice line about their client a single woman, and her severely disabled son - both victims of trafficking to the UK five years ago.

The client was accommodated by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and has been granted leave to remain in the UK. UKVI had served notice to end their current accommodation.

The client has been sexually assaulted in her local area and applied to a neighbouring local authority as homeless. The local authority in question accepted the homelessness application but refused to offer emergency accommodation. They stated the client should apply to her current local authority as there was no evidence of a risk of violence.

The advice agency wanted to know what their client’s rights were.

What we did

Our adviser discussed the case in detail with the agency. We explained the process of making a homeless application and the associated responsibilities on local authorities, focussing on the fact that proof of violence should not be required. A reason to believe is enough to trigger a local authority’s duty to provide accommodation, pending their investigations.

We provided details of relevant caselaw to support the client’s situation. Our adviser discussed the possibility of finding a local solicitor to assist the client in challenging the local authority to provide accommodation.

Outcome

The adviser got back in touch with us to thank us for our advice, and confirmed they contacted the local authority again. They agreed to provide emergency accommodation for the client while they continue their enquiries.