5 do they have a local connection in some

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5. Do they have a “local connection” ? In some circumstance your skills as a mental health professional may mean that you are able to elicit information and record a history that will help the process of someone communicating the nature and extent of someone’s links to an area more effectively than if this process is undertaken in a housing department. Emergency housing from the council In a situation where someone makes a homelessness application, and it would appear at all likely that they might meet the first three tests above i.e. they are legally homeless, they are in priority need and they meet the immigration conditions – then a Local Authority should help with emergency housing, and should not refuse this because they suspect someone might be “intentionally homeless” or because they might not have “local connection”. Emergency accommodation may be a bed and breakfast, a hostel or a self-contained flat or house. Generally, it should be within the local area, but can be outside of this if there isn’t anything suitable available locally. Consideration should be given to factors such as where people’s support networks are when a decision is made around the location. Your perspective may be relevant to these decisions. If a council does not accept that they have a duty to house someone or to provide them with emergency accommodation, they still have a duty to provide advice, an assessment and a personalised housing plan to relieve homelessness. The person who has had their homelessness application declined also has the right to appeal. The council should provide them with advice around seeking support with this process. Apart from their specific duties towards individuals who meet the criteria described above, Local Authorities also have wider responsibilities around reducing homelessness and in the prevention and relief of homelessness. These responsibilities are sometimes fulfilled through the commissioning, or joint funding, of some of the services such as hostels and outreach teams described below. Support to access Private Rented Accommodation In some areas, councils have schemes to help people to access their own tenancies in the private sector. These are sometimes used as a means to prevent or relieve homelessness, even for people who the council do not have a duty to house. The level of support varies between simply having information available about 1
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Homeless Link Homelessness guidance for Mental Health Professionals 7 landlords who will consider taking people on benefits, to rent deposit or guarantee schemes, and sometimes social lettings agency and other more extensive support. Commissioned homelessness services Alongside the statutory homelessness and housing services, typically accessed through the council’s Housing department, many Local Authorities also commission services for ‘single’ homeless people (i.e. people without dependent children in their household) who are not owed a housing duty. These services aim to prevent or
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  • Fall '19
  • Poverty, mental health professionals

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