asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will issue the revised code of guidance to the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977; and if he will make a statement.
The revised code of guidance is today being published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office on behalf of the Department of the Environment, the Department of Health and Social Security and Welsh Office. It is being distributed to all housing and social services authorities in England and Wales.
The code of guidance has been revised in pursuance of an undertaking given to the House on 13 may last year—[Vol. 23, c. 318]—to introduce some changes consequent upon the Government's review of the Act. Opportunity has been taken to update the code to reflect developments that have taken place since it was first published in 1977.
Consultations have taken place on proposed amendments to the code, notably to give new or amended guidance on a number of important issues such as intentional homelessness. Comments were invited from the local authority associations, the main voluntary bodies concerned with homelessness and other interested parties. I am grateful for the wide-ranging and detailed responses, which we have taken carefully into account in considering these revisions.
The code contains new advice on the housing needs of ex-service personnel and introduces a "certificate of impending homelessness" to be issued by commanding officers in order to give local authorities as much early warning as possible where there is an apparent need to re-house those leaving service accommodation.
Copies of the revised code are being placed in the Library and will also be available from HMSO suppliers.