If you think you are at risk of losing your home, you should seek advice immediately.
NOTE FOR AGENCIES - referrals under the Homelessness Reduction Act:
If you are an agency needing to make a referral to us, complete the Duty to Refer form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
If your client is due to be homeless within 48 hours, email the referral and immediately contact us on 01935 462462 to speak to a member of the team.
The following drop downs explain our duties under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
Our duty to prevent homelessness
If you think you’re going to be homeless, contact our housing team on 01935 462462 to make an appointment to see an Officer. We will assess your circumstances and if you are eligible for assistance we will take all reasonable steps to help you keep your accommodation. We will complete a personalised housing plan with you and we will ask you to agree to the steps in the plan.
Our duty to you will last for 56 days unless it is brought to an end by an event, for example if you find other accommodation. If you follow the steps in your housing plan but we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless then we will have a duty to relieve your homelessness.
Our duty to relieve homelessness
If you are homeless, contact our housing team immediately on 01935 462462 to make an appointment to see an Officer. We will have a duty to assess your circumstances and if you are eligible for assistance we will have a duty to take reasonable steps to help you find accommodation. We will write a personalised housing plan for you and we will ask you to agree to the steps that you and the Council will take to find other accommodation.
Our duty to you will last for 56 days unless it is brought to an end, for example if you find other accommodation.
If we have reason to believe that you are homeless, eligible and in priority need then we will have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. The type and location of the temporary accommodation will depend on your circumstances and what is available at the time. But we will only ever use bed and breakfast in an emergency.
If you follow the steps in your housing plan, but we are unable to relieve your homelessness, then we will assess whether we still have a duty to help. We will have a duty if you are in priority need and if you have not made yourself homeless intentionally.
To be eligible for assistance you will need to have legal rights to remain in the UK and be a habitual resident. This area of the law is complex so further advice will be available at our Housing Advice Centre.
Housing Advice Centre
Opening times: Mon to Fri 9:30am to 4pm
Homelessness and priority need
You are homeless if you do not have anywhere to live or if it unreasonable to expect you to stay at home.
You may be in priority need if you have a child who would normally live with you, someone in your family is pregnant, at risk of violence, have old or young people in your family, or health difficulties.
For more information, visit our priority need page.
What is intentional homelessness?
We may decide that you are intentionally homeless if you deliberately do something that leads to you becoming homeless. Intentionally homeless families will only be entitled to advice and assistance and temporary accommodation for a short period of time.
What is a local connection?
You will have a local connection with us if you have lived in our area for 3 out of the last 5 years or 6 out of the last 12 months, if you are employed in our area or if you have close family connections here.
For further advice on what to do if you find yourself homeless, visit Shelter.
Homefinder also provide information on homelessness.
Report a suspected rough sleeper
If you are concerned about someone that you think is sleeping rough, you can report them to Streetlink.
Help those experiencing domestic abuse
Mankind Initiative is a charity that provides a help-line service for male victims of domestic violence or abuse.
Tel: 01823 334244 or visit their website for further information on the services they offer.
The National Women's Aid helpline available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or visit their website for further information on the services they offer.
If you are concerned about your safety you should dial 999 and speak to the police.