Process and meeting statutory requirements and

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process and meeting statutory requirements, and towards a system centred on prevention or relief of homelessness for everyone. Mental health professionals can play an important role in this culture change, for example by advising on the type of tailored support that can help an individual to find, or remain in, housing. Professionals with prior knowledge of statutory Housing legislation should ensure their knowledge has been refreshed in light of the Act, to take into account changes such as: o Improved advice and information about homelessness and prevention of homelessness The Act places greater duty on authorities to make advice and information available, providing up to date local information on preventing homelessness, securing accommodation, rights, available support and how to access this support.
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Homeless Link Homelessness guidance for Mental Health Professionals 5 o Extension of the period “threatened with homelessness” Under the new legislation, people can now be assessed as threatened with homelessness if they are likely to become homeless within 56 days (increased from 28 days). This means the period of time that housing authorities have to undertake prevention work is increased. o New prevention and relief duties A key component to the Homeless Reduction Act is that all eligible people who are found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness will be entitled to more tailored support from the housing authority, regardless of priority need and intentionality. This support will be set out in a Personalised Housing Plan. o Assessments and personalised housing plans Under provisions introduced by the Act, housing authorities will conduct as assessment with people who are either homeless or threatened with homelessness. This includes an assessment of what accommodation would be suitable, and whether the applicant needs support to obtain and keep accommodation. These assessments can be contracted out to other organisations. The assessment is used to develop a Personalised Housing Plan, which sets out the steps the individual and the local housing authority will take to remain in or source accommodation options. Housing authorities can involve other services in agreeing these steps. Mental health professionals will have a role to play in helping the local authority to understand what support is required and what would be ‘reasonable’ for the individual. o Duty to refer and encouraging public bodies to work together Homelessness prevention work is best delivered through effective partnerships working, and the Act requires public bodies to work together to address the range of complex needs that individuals may be facing. From October 2018, the Act introduces the “duty to refer”, a framework in which councils and referring agencies work in partnership to develop effective referral pathways and joint planning of support. Health services, such as “hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care” are included in the duty to refer, and guidance on their role will be published before October 2018. While not explicitly
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  • Fall '19
  • Poverty, mental health professionals

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