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S.C.A.

Amendment Paper as at
Tuesday 10th July 2001

STANDING COMMITTEE A


Mr Secretary Byers That, during proceedings on the Homelessness Bill, the Committee do meet on Tuesdays at half-past Ten o'clock and at half-past Four o'clock and on Thursdays at half-past Nine o'clock and at half-past Four o'clock.

New Amendments handed in are marked thus *

HOMELESSNESS BILL

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

1

Clause     1,     page     1,     line     3,     after 'authority"', insert 'and its strategic partners, to include registered social landlords and housing co-operatives, landlords of houses in multiple occupation registered with the authority under the Housing Act 1996, members of landlords' forums, and voluntary organisations and other relevant bodies ("strategic partners")'.

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

2

Clause     1,     page     1,     line     16,     at end insert—

    '(4A)   The authority shall maintain a list of those organisations which are its strategic partners, which it may modify from time to time.'.


   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

6

Clause     2,     page     2,     line     11,     at end insert '; and

    (d)   the availability of housing advice within the district.'.

   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

14

Clause     2,     page     2,     line     11,     at end insert '; and

    (d)   the number of empty properties in their district.'.

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

7

Clause     2,     page     2,     line     19,     at end insert—

    '(d)   providing for the welfare of animals under the control of homeless persons.'.


   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

3

Clause     3,     page     2,     line     29,     after 'authority', insert 'and its strategic partners'.

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

4

Clause     3,     page     2,     line     30,     after 'homelessness', insert '(including rough sleeping)'.

   

Mr David Kidney

15

Clause     3,     page     3,     line     12,     at end insert—

    '(5A)   In formulating a homelessness strategy the authority shall make specific reference to—

    (a)   the extent and nature of empty housing and vacant property within their district across all sectors and tenures;

    (b)   targets for the re-use of such properties for residential purposes; and

    (c)   a strategy for action to achieve the targets set out in paragraph (b) above, including action by any public authority, voluntary organisation or other body or person whose activities are capable of contributing to the achieving of these objectives.'.

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

5

Clause     3,     page     3,     line     18,     after 'organisations', insert ', people living within the authority's area, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness'.


   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

8

Clause     7,     page     4,     line     40,     at end insert 'and states that the offer shall remain open for acceptance for not less than four working days from the date of the offer, or such longer period as the authority considers reasonable in all the circumstances.'.

   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

12

Clause     7,     page     4,     line     40,     at end insert 'and states that the offer shall remain available for such period as the authority may determine is reasonable in all the circumstances.'.


   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

10

Clause     15,     page     11,     line     1,     after 'any', insert 'deliberate, wilful, or negligent'.

   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

9

Clause     15,     page     11,     line     4,     at end insert—

    '(d)   any record of behaviour of a person (or a member of his household) which has affected the terms of a previous tenancy he has held.'.

   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

11

Clause     15,     page     11,     line     37,     leave out 'has the right to request the authority to inform him' and insert 'is informed'.


NEW CLAUSES

Rough sleepers   

Mr Nigel Waterson
Tim Loughton
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Rough Sleepers Unit shall cease to operate with effect from April 2002, and its powers and responsibilities shall be devolved to local housing authorities.'.


Section 202: reviews   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

       'After section 202 of the 1996 Act (right to request review of decision) there is inserted—

    "202A Section 202: reviews    (1)   This section applies where an applicant has the right to request a review of a decision by an authority or authorities under section 202.

    (2)   If the applicant is dissatisfied with a decision by the authority—

    (a)   not to exercise their power to continue to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation pending a review under section 188;

    (b)   in a case where the authority have secured that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation under section 190(2)(a), to cease to secure that accommodation is so available before the time available to the applicant to bring an appeal under section 204 has expired (or, if sooner, the day on which an appeal is brought by the applicant);

    (c)   not to exercise their power to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation pending a review, under section 200(5); or

    (d)   to exercise their power under either section 188 or section 200(5) for a limited time ending before the time available to the applicant to bring an appeal under section 204 has expired (or, if sooner, the day on which an appeal is brought by the applicant), or, in either case, to cease exercising their power before that time,

       he may appeal to the county court against the decision.

    (3)   An appeal under this section may not be brought after the time available to the applicant to bring an appeal under section 204 has expired (or, if sooner, after the date on which an appeal is brought).

    (4)   On an appeal under this section the court—

    (a)   may order the authority to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation until the time available to the applicant to bring an appeal under section 204 has expired (or such earlier time as the court may specify); and

    (b)   shall confirm or quash the decision appealed against,

       and in considering whether to confirm or quash the decision the court shall apply the principles applied by the High Court on an application for judicial review.

    (5)   If the court quashes the decision it may order the authority to exercise any of the powers mentioned in subsection (2) above in the applicant's case for such period as may be specified in the order.

    (6)   An order under subsection (5)—

    (a)   may only be made if the court is satisfied that failure to exercise the power in accordance with the order would substantially prejudice the applicant's ability to pursue the review against the authority's decision in his case;

    (b)   may not specify any period ending after the time available to the applicant to bring an appeal under section 204 has expired.".'.


Overcrowding and homelessness   

Ms Karen Buck

NC3

*To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Section 177 of the Housing Act 1996 (whether it is reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation) is amended as follows.

    (2)   After subsection (1) there is inserted—

    "(1A)   It is not reasonable for a person to continue to occupy accommodation if the accommodation is a dwelling which is overcrowded within the meaning of section 324 of the Housing Act 1985, and in any such case the authority shall not have regard to the general circumstances prevailing in relation to housing in their district.".'.


   

Mr Don Foster
Mr Adrian Sanders

13

Schedule     1,     page     15,     line     23,     at end insert—

                'For section 210(1) (suitability of accommodation) there is substituted—

       "In determining for the purposes of this Part whether accommodation is suitable for a person, accommodation shall only be regarded as suitable if—

    (a)   it is not overcrowded (within the meaning of section 324 of the Housing Act 1985);

    (b)   it is fit for the number of occupants and it has adequate means of escape from fire (within the meaning of sections 352 and 365 of the Housing Act 1985); and

    (c)   in the view of the authority it is fit for human habitation (within the meaning of section 604 of the Housing Act 1985).".'.


 
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