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Temporary Accommodation

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the appropriateness of placing homeless households in long-term placements in temporary accommodation outside their local authority area. (133729)

Under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996), local housing authorities must ensure that suitable accommodation is available for housing applicants accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need. In some cases it may be appropriate for a homeless household to be placed in accommodation outside the local authority area but authorities are required to ensure that, so far as reasonably practicable, accommodation is secured in their district. Moreover, we have issued statutory guidance—the “Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities”—which states that wherever possible the accommodation secured should be as close as possible to where applicants were previously living, so they can retain established links with schools, doctors, social workers and other key services and support essential to the well-being of the household.