§ Mr. Brazier
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to issue guidance to local authorities about implementing the housing provisions in the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, and on the consequences of the Court of Appeal's judgment in the case of R.v. Secretary of State for the Environment ex parte London borough of Tower Hamlets.
§ Sir George Young
I am today sending to all housing authorities and other interested bodies a consultation paper about proposed changes to the homelessness code of guidance to local authorities. The paper contains a draft supplementary code explaining the new duties of local authorities in relation to asylum seekers who apply for accommodation under the homelessness legislation. In the light of the Court of Appeal's clarification of the law in the Tower Hamlets case, the paper also contains a draft revision to the homelessness code of guidance about the response that authorities should make to applications under the homelessness legislation from persons who have entered the country illegally.
I believe that these proposed changes to the homelessness code of guidance will assist authorities in managing their housing stock, by reducing pressure from applicants whose right to remain in the country has yet to be resolved, or who should not be in the country at all. I intend to issue revised guidance on these matters in the light of the responses to the consultation paper, which are requested by 13 September. I am placing a copy of the paper in the Library.