Drafting homelessness decision letters

A one-day training course for homelessness decision makers

Picture of someone writing a homeless decision letter

Crucial document

The section 184 homelessness decision letter is a crucial document. It’s the primary record of how the council have decided what duties (if any) a homeless applicant is owed. It must clearly set out what information was taken into account. It must also include the council’s reasons for any decision that a duty isn’t owed.

There are also a variety of other decisions councils take on homeless applications that may also need to be set out in writing.

Many legal challenges by homeless applicants are based on errors in how the decision was communicated in the decision letter - even if the decision itself (eg whether the applicant has a priority need) was lawfully available to the decision-maker.

This course helps decision-makers improve their letter drafting skills.

Who should attend

This course is suitable for:

  • Staff who make decisions on homelessness applications and draft decision notification letters.
  • Staff who review first instance decisions under section 202 of the Housing Act 1996.

Avoiding the pitfalls

Improving how staff approach decision letters must be based on a thorough understanding of the legal rules governing how decisions must be made. Put another way, decision-makers must understand the public law errors which make decisions unlawful.

Attendees will therefore also learn how improving their drafting skills relates to wider principles on which good decision making is based (i.e. the public law grounds for judicial review).

This course includes:

  • Practical exercises requiring attendees to apply the material covered.
  • Examples from case law of how unlawful decisions on homeless applications resulted from the decision-making process, and how the decision letter was written.
  • Examples of good and bad decision letters.

About the trainer

Mark has undertaken hundreds of homelessness reviews for local authorities. He is experienced in dealing with submissions made by applicants' legal representatives. Barristers have complimented Mark on his decision drafting skills.


Contact me if you're interested in booking this course.

Please note I provide training for groups on an 'in house' basis.

Example of training materials*

*Some of these materials are only excerpts (i.e. not complete versions) for illustrative purposes only. My materials are regularly updated. As a result, these examples may now be out of date.

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Outline of the issues typically covered on this course.

1.12 MB

An excerpt from the presentation slides for this course.

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An excerpt from a training handbook from this course (previous version).

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An example of an exercise from this course.

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