This document provides text that you can use for a webpage or guide which gives homeless applicants advice about their statutory right to a homeless review under section 202 of the Housing Act 1996.
The text provides a detailed guide to homeless applicants' right to a review, which can supplement the brief explanations in decision notification letters. Customers can be signposted to the guide if they need more information.
The advice is given under the following headings:
- Key points.
- What is a homeless review?
- Which decisions can I ask the Council to review?
- What if I’m unsure whether a decision can be reviewed?
- What is the time limit for asking for a review?
- What if I did not receive the decision letter?
- What if I miss the 21-day deadline for asking for a review?
- How do I ask for a review?
- Must I give reasons when requesting a review?
- I am thinking of refusing an offer of accommodation. What should I do?
- Can someone else act on my behalf?
- Can I get independent advice?
- Do I need to provide an address? What if I don't have an address?
- Who will make the decision on my review?
- What procedure does the Council follow when carrying out a review?
- When will a decision be made on my review?
- How does the Council decide whether to overturn the original decision?
- What if my situation changes?
- Is accommodation provided until the review is completed?
- What if I cannot ask for a review?
- Can I appeal the review decision?
- What is a 'point of law'?
- Can I complain?
- What if I have more questions?
This document makes certain assumptions about the information you want to give to homeless applicants (which you can of course amend according to your own requirements).
For example, it's assumed that:
- You wish to signpost customers to local organisations that provide independent advice.
- You offer customers a form they can use to request a review.
- You also allow homeless applicants to request a review online (by completing an online form).
The document also makes assumptions about your particular procedure (over and above the obligations contained in the review procedure regulations).
For example the document states that:
- You will acknowledge review requests in writing no later than 14 days from receipt of the review request.
- You will confirm in writing the date by when homeless applicants must provide their reasons for requesting a review and any supporting information, which will be not less than 14 days from the date of the review acknowledgement letter (unless an earlier legal time limit applies).
- You will confirm (in the same review acknowledgement letter) who will be conducting the review, and give the details of an officer the applicant can contact if they have queries in connection with the review.
- You may sometimes ask an independent contractor to carry out the review or to help with making inquiries.
You will therefore need to review the text to ensure it accurately describes your Council's particular procedure and processes.