Example letter in support of application for assistance under section 183, Housing Act 1996.
Springfield Housing Options
Dear Sir or Madam,
Re: SH – D.O.B. of NO FIXED ABODE
Please treat this letter as an application for assistance under section 183, Housing Act 1996.
Homelessness or threatened with homelessness (section 175 Housing Act 1996)
SH was admitted on 6th June 2018 following depression and suicidal ideation and attempts. SH had taken tablet overdoses. This was in the context of multiple social stressors including debts, homelessness and relationship breakdown. We believe that this patient should be treated as homeless or threatened with homelessness. This is because she and her family have been living in a car since they were evicted their Springfield council flat (742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield) three months ago. SH experiencing ongoing suicidal thoughts and self-harm by cutting herself. Prior to this admission SH had been drinking alcohol excessively to manage the stressors and mood symptoms. During this admission SH has been engaging with therapy and treatment on the ward.
Eligible for assistance (section 185 Housing Act 1996)
We believe that this patient is eligible for assistance because she is not subject to immigration control and habitually resident in the UK.
Priority need (section 189 Housing Act 1996)
We believe that this patient is in priority need because of depression, suicidal ideation and attempts and self-harm.
People with depression experience low mood, poor sleep, poor appetite, poor self-esteem. Poor self-worth, negative thoughts and in the worst cases suicidal attempts or self-harm. Patients with depression often find it difficult to keep on top of things such as work or managing their finances as a result of the cognitive symptoms.
In SH’s case her depression is related to severe social stressors including being homeless. She has been unable to manage her depression in this context and needs stable accommodation to engage with treatment including medical and psychological therapy, which she will receive from a community mental health team that specializes in the treatment of mood, anxiety and personality disorders.
SH is more vulnerable than the average person due to her mental illness. Without this SH will almost certainly deteriorate because she will not be able to effectively resolve the issues triggering her depression or recover fully following this admission. She will be at risk of further self-harm or harm or misadventure.
Duty to make inquiries (section 184 Housing Act 1996)
We note that, on the basis of the above, the council has reason to believe that our client may be homeless and therefore has a duty to make reasonable inquiries into her/his circumstances, and to provide a written decision on her/his application.
Interim accommodation duty (section 188 Housing Act 1996)
We believe that on the basis of the above that the council has reason to believe that this patient may be homeless, eligible, and in priority need. Therefore the council has a duty to provide suitable accommodation pending completion of your inquiries.
We would remind you that this duty arises irrespective of local connection with the council’s area.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Dr. Julius M. Hibbert
Springfield Hospital Pathway Homeless Team
Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group
Springfield NHS Foundation Trust