Revised Local Connection Test

Forgive me if I have the wrong forum or that this information may already have been posted elsewhere or if the Armed Forces Federation is already aware of this legislative change.

The capricious effect of the Housing Act 1996 made it a virtual impossibility for a serviceman and his family to establish a 'local connection' in an area of their discharge on termination of colour service and rendered them ineligible for assistance from the Local Authority who have an obligation of rehousing those who are, or are about to become homeless.

The Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 received Royal Assent on 27 July 2008.

Section 315 of the 2008 Act amends section 199 of the Housing Act 1996 which sets out the circumstances when a person has a local connection with their district when considering that person’s priority for an allocation of housing under Part 6 of the 1996 Act or when making inquiries about whether a person his homeless and owed a duty under part 7 of the 1996 Act.

The offending subsection (2) has been removed, and some other minor amendments made. The effect of this amendment is that a person in the Armed Forces will now be able to establish a local connection with a district through residence or employment there in the same way as a civilian.

I do recall that some time ago, a gentleman known as 'Hitback' and his supporters ran a campaign to oust this particular piece of blatant discriminatory legislation and in this, he has been remarkably successful in ensuring that those who come after him will be the principal beneficiaries of his successful endevour.

If it illustrates anything at all, it is that a single individual, with enough guts, drive and determination, can actually move mountains!

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