When applying for housing for homeless people it is very important to mention disability if the applicant is also a disabled person. The reason for this is that the Housing Act 1996 prioritises disabled people when providing housing. "Prioritising" means that disabled people (and pregnant women, and children, etc) are given housing before people who are not "vulnerable", as defined in the Housing Act 1996. Here are the important sections from the Housing Act 1996. Section 189 explains who is entitled to priority housing. Section 188 explains that councils must house people in priority need before all other people. People who are homeless and disabled are in priority need twice, and emphasising this will speed up the housing process.

Housing Act 1996 – Section 188, Section 189

Section 189Priority need for accommodation

(1) The following have a priority need for accommodation:-

(a) a pregnant woman or a person with whom she resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;

(b) a person with whom dependent children reside or might reasonably be expected to reside;

(c) a person who is vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability or other special reason, or with whom such a person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;

(d) a person who is homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order:-

(a) specify further descriptions of persons as having a priority need for accommodation, and

(b) amend or repeal any part of subsection (1).

(3) Before making such an order the Secretary of State shall consult such associations representing relevant authorities, and such other persons, as he considers appropriate.

(4) No such order shall be made unless a draft of it has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

Section 188: Duty to accommodate in case of apparent priority need

(1) If the local housing authority have reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority need, they shall secure that accommodation is available for his occupation pending a decision as to the duty (if any) owed to him under the following provisions of this Part.

(2) The duty under this section arises irrespective of any possibility of the referral of the applicant's case to another local housing authority (see sections 198 to 200).

(3) The duty ceases when the authority's decision is notified to the applicant, even if the applicant requests a review of the decision (see section 202). The authority may secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation pending a decision on a review.

Please see the Housing Act 1988 at the foot of the page (attached)
Francois Andre Greeff,
12 Dec 2011, 09:35