Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue



Q: What is your local connection?

March 01 2020

Ian Kalman points out that the law of connection has many inconsistencies between councils

Under the Homeless Reduction Act you can go into any homeless persons unit and claim you are homeless. They must help you, but they will ask: “What is your local connection?”. If you do not have a local connection, they will refer you to the area you came from, but until that authority accepts you the place where you are must do all they can to help. Get as much advice as you can.

I am sure most of you have been asked “What is your local connection?” in a day centre or a homeless persons’ unit. I was asked this the first time I was on the streets. Let us look at this law and what I see as inconsistencies. 

The first one is how long does it take to lose your connection? The law states it is between 6-12 months, but most councils will probably pick six months.

The next question is how long does it take to gain local connection status? Once again, the law is vague, it states three to five years. Last year I was trying to help a neighbour go on the housing register. His medical history was quite extensive and every time I tried to save it, the form refused. I emailed to state this fact and the reply I got back shocked me. It said he had, “Only been living there for four years, so he would have to wait till he had been there for five years”. Waiting a year is a long time, but I did find a way to overcome this, for this man. As if you have a medical condition ask for a medical priority form and that will get you on the housing register.

Exceptions to stop you being sent back to another council are if you are at risk of domestic abuse or violence in the area you came from.

Do you have local connections? To prove a local connection through close family (such as parents, brothers, sisters or adult children) your relatives must have been living in the area for over five years. Time in prison or hospital will not count towards your connection.

If you are under 21 and you have lived in the area for two years you can claim local connection. If you have refugee status and the Home Office puts you in an area, you can claim local connection status. In my mind the law is unfair, but it is the law.