Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless you should contact us as soon as you can. The Homeless Reduction Act 2017 means that we have duties to try and prevent and relieve homelessness.

Prevention duty

We have a duty to provide advice and assistance if you are:

  • eligible for assistance which means you have the right to claim benefits and housing the UK
  • at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days (8 weeks)

This prevention duty means that we must take reasonable steps to help prevent you from becoming homeless. This duty last for 56 days.

Relief duty

If we can’t prevent you from becoming homeless during the prevention duty period then we have 56 days to help you find accommodation during the relief period.

Personal housing plan

We will provide you with a housing officer who will work with you to prevent and relieve your homelessness.

The officer will complete a detailed assessment of your housing situation, your support needs and the type of housing you require. This assessment will form the basis of your personal housing plan

Your personal housing plan will include all the housing options you need to explore with reasonable steps that you need to do to help you improve your situation. You need to cooperate with all your steps to help you resolve your housing or to help you seek alternative housing.

Homelessness decision

If you are homeless when the relief duty ends we will make a decision on whether we owe you any further housing duty. We will usually only accept a full duty to house you for 12 months if you:

  • meet a priority need
  • are not intentionally homeless
  • have a local connection to our district

If you are not in priority need or are intentionally homeless we may only have to offer you advice and assistance. We may be able to provide temporary accommodation for a short period of time, depending on your circumstances.

Refusal to co-operate

If we think you are deliberately or unreasonably refusing to co-operate with steps agreed in your personal plan we can end any prevention or relief duty. We will tell you before we do this and if you disagree with our decision you have the right to ask for a review

If you disagree

If you are not happy with a decision we have made you can ask us to look at it again. This can include a decision about the steps we think are reasonable to prevent or relieve your homelessness, or that you have deliberately or unreasonably refused to co operate over your personal housing plan.

There is also help on the Government website.

You can also find advice on housing and homelessness on the Shelter website.

If you are homeless in an emergency today outside office hours, and you have no-one that can accommodate you temporarily, you can ring the councils out of hours number 01235 422420 for assistance.

For more information on how the council are tackling homelessness, please see our Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025 below.

Advice leaflets

Contact us - Housing needs

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01235 422452
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)