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Homelessness: How can we help?

How can we help?

The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA 2017) increased the help councils can offer people who have experienced or are about to experience homelessness.

This means we can help more people, as we no longer consider whether a person has a 'priority need' or has made themselves intentionally homeless, before we help them.

We register a homeless application for all customers who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

After registering an application, we make every effort to prevent or relieve homelessness before we make a final decision on the application. This means applications may remain open beyond the current statutory guidance, which is 33 working days, whilst we try to help each customer in preventing or relieving their homelessness.

We will register applications for people threatened with homelessness within 56 days to ensure more people are assisted as soon as possible. We will decide whether you are owed the full housing duty at the end of the relief stage, if the homelessness has not been resolved. We will continue to provide customers with temporary accommodation, where applicable, while we seek alternative solutions to their problems.

Click here for the Public Body Homeless Referral and Self-Referral Link

Making an appointment

To make an appointment to see the Housing Options team, follow the link below and complete a referral form. An officer will then contact you as soon as possible to arrange an interview. Alternatively, you can contact us on 01946 598300 to discuss your situation further. You can also email and an advisor will reply with your appointment details.

If you find yourself homeless and needing urgent help outside our usual office hours, please telephone 01946 598300 where our out of hours call handers will put you through to an advisor in an emergency.

What will happen at the interview?

At the appointment, the advisor will discuss your circumstances in detail and will ask you to explain why you are worried about becoming homeless, or how you have become homeless. If you have nowhere to stay that night, you will usually be able to see an advisor the same day.

We will always look at ways to help you avoid losing your home by giving you advice about dealing with benefit and debt problems, mortgage or rent arrears and tenant or landlord rights. If appropriate, we can talk to your landlord or lender on your behalf. We will also look at other possible housing options.

Our housing options service can help you in the following ways:

We can assess your current housing situation and work out what your needs are.

  • If you are worried that you might become homeless, we can give you advice on the next steps.
  • You can self refer or call us to arrange an appointment
  •  We can help you make a housing plan, so you can work towards the next steps to find a permanent home.

Are you experiencing financial difficulty? Our team might be able to help you in these ways:

  • With a rent deposit (please see our rent deposit guidance to see if you are eligible).
  • With rent arrears to stop you being evicted by your landlord.

Our Housing Options Team can help you if you are homeless, or if you are likely to lose your home soon.

  • If you have issues because of benefit changes such as Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, Benefit Cap or Local Housing allowance.
  • With budgeting and managing your money at home.
  • With employment problems and job seeking.
  • With getting a smaller, more financially manageable home.

Do you rent privately?

  • We can help if you are being harassed or threatened by your landlord, or if you have been locked out of your home, evicted or if the rent is being increased.
  • We can visit you at home and work with you and anyone who might try to make you homeless, to resolve your housing problems.

Finding a home; we can help you with:

  • Your Choice Based Lettings application.
  • Assessing and reviewing your priority need as a homeless household, including if you have extra or complex housing needs.
  • Looking at the housing options available to you, including temporary accommodation or private housing.

Further help and guidance