NHAS help inmate with mental health issues into accommodation on release after being declared intentionally homeless
Posted on 15/02/21
Our free advice line provides specialist advice on housing, housing debt, and welfare benefit issues to help you support your clients. One of our advisers recently supported a voluntary organisation worker in achieving temporary accommodation for their male client, a victim of domestic abuse with several health problems.
Who got in touch with the NHAS advice line?
Prison Advice Project worker.
What was the problem?
The male client, suffering from mental health issues, was at risk of being homeless on his release from prison.
The prison adviser had been in touch with the local authority to make a homelessness application on behalf of the client which was refused.
The local authority stated they had already discharged their duty to the client, finding him ‘intentionally homeless’ in a previous homelessness application.
The client's mental health deteriorated in custody and a Care Act assessment ensued, but he did not meet the threshold for accommodation to be provided under the Act.
The adviser contacted us for help with the client’s options for housing upon his release from custody.
What we did
Our adviser explained that a local authority cannot rely on having previously discharged its duty (and refuse to accept a repeat application) where there has been a 'factual' change of circumstances.
Our adviser clarified that the change to the client’s mental health, and the fact that this had resulted in a Care Act assessment being carried out, could be argued as a clear change in their circumstances and therefore should give rise to a fresh homelessness application being considered.
Full advice was provided on making a homelessness application, including the fact that a local authority has a duty to make inquiries where it has reason to believe that a person may be homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Details of local services, that may be able to assist the client, were provided should they be needed.
The prison adviser got back in touch with us to say they had contacted the local authority again and they had agreed to accommodate their client on his release from custody.
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