Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness? If you are, and you meet the council's criteria for homelessness, we have a duty to find suitable accommodation for you.
The information below will help you decide whether you meet the criteria for homelessness.
Please contact us for further information and help.
Duty to refer
In April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in England.
The legislation states that from October 2018 specified public authorities are required to notify the local authority of service users they consider may be currently homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.
Before making a referral a public body must have the consent of the individual to make the referral and consent to share their contact details with that authority. The individual should be asked to identify the housing authority in England they wish to be referred to.
- Duty to refer - referral form (DOC, 29KB)
- Please submit the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Homelessness means not having a home. Even if you have a roof over your head you can still be homeless. This is because you may not have any rights to stay where you live or your home might be unsuitable for you.
You may be entitled to help as a homeless person if you are:
- Temporarily staying with friends or family
- Staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast
- Living in very overcrowded conditions
- At risk of violence or abuse in your home
- Living in poor conditions that affect your health
- Living somewhere that you have no legal right to stay in (eg a squat)
- Living somewhere that you can't afford to pay for without depriving yourself of basic essentials
- Forced to live apart from your family or someone you would normally live with because your accommodation isn't suitable.
Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, provide help and advice if you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless:
I think I am homeless - what happens next?
Please contact us immediately.
- You will be given an appointment with a Housing Advice officer.
- We will carry out a full assessment of your circumstances and needs.
- Temporary accommodation will be provided if applicable.
- You will be registered with Council Housing and all housing associations in the district.
- An advice officer will continue to advise and support you until alternative accommodation has been found.
- Floating support is available to help you in your new accommodation.
I am threatened with homelessness - can I get help?
If you are threatened with homelessness within 28 days please contact us immediately.
Our Housing Advice team will work with you to stop you becoming homeless. The things we can do to help include:
- Liaise and negotiate with landlords
- Assist with housing benefit issues
- Financial assistance from the Prevention Fund
- Family mediation
- Supported hostel accommodation for young people (16-25)
- Assist with accommodation in the private rented sector
Contacting us outside office hours
If you are homeless and our office is closed, please call our emergency call centre on 01524 67099 and you will be put in contact with a housing advice officer (please note calls are recorded for monitoring and training purposes).
Last updated: 26 September 2018