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NHAS assist probation service in helping 18-year-old stay in B&B while priority need application is assessed

Posted on 21/05/21

Our free advice line provides specialist advice on housing, housing debt, and welfare benefit issues to help you support your clients.

A NHAS adviser recently supported the probation service in challenging a priority need homelessness decision which resulted in the 18-year-old client being able to stay in the B&B accommodation.

Who got in touch with the advice line?

Probation service worker

What was the problem?

The probation service worker called about their 18-year-old client, who has learning difficulties and has been in the youth justice system since the age of 14. The client has been the victim of domestic violence throughout their childhood and was exploited through drug related county lines activities.

The client has been in B&B accommodation following a homelessness application to the local authority.  The local authority issued a non-priority need decision and gave the client 7 days’ notice to leave the accommodation.

The probation service worker wanted to know what housing options were available to the client.

What we did

Our adviser discussed the case in detail with the worker, explaining the rules regarding priority need in respect of a homelessness application.

We were able to present the Homelessness Code of Guidance rules around priority need and how someone can be seen to be in priority need if they are vulnerable for special reasons - including young people -  particularly those without any support from families. 

Chapter 8.41 of the code points out that young people on the streets, without adequate financial resources, may be at risk of abuse or exploitation.

We illustrated the process of requesting a review of the non-priority need decision, and the potential to request ongoing accommodation pending the outcome of that review.

Details were provided of how to access legal representation, to assist the client with their review, and request for ongoing accommodation.

Outcome

The adviser contacted us again to confirm that the local authority had agreed to provide accommodation pending the outcome of the review.

The final outcome of the case is not known yet – but we are confident that the client is getting the correct advice and support to progress with their search for suitable long-term accommodation.

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