Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 27th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr Andy King Mr Andy King Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the statutory definition is of intentional homelessness.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) (Regeneration and Regional Developement)

The circumstances when a person becomes homeless intentionally are set out in section 191 of the Housing Act 1996. The 1996 Act extends to England and Wales.

Section 191 is reproduced as follows:

1. A person becomes homeless intentionally if he deliberately does or fails to do anything in consequence of which he ceases to occupy accommodation which is available for his occupation and which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy.

2. For the purposes of subsection 1. an act or omission in good faith on the part of a person who was unaware of any relevant fact shall not be treated as deliberate.

3. A person shall be treated as becoming homeless intentionally if:

(a) he enters into an arrangement under which he is required to cease to occupy accommodation which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy, and

(b) the purpose of the arrangement is to enable him to become entitled to assistance under this Part, and there is no other good reason why he is homeless.

4. A person who is given advice or assistance under section 197 (duty where other suitable alternative accommodation available), but fails to secure suitable accommodation in circumstances in which it was reasonably to be expected that he would do so, shall, if he makes a further application under this Part, be treated as having become homeless intentionally.

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