If you are homeless or about to become homeless, we will carry out a homeless assessment to see if the council has a legal duty to provide you with somewhere to live or if we have other duties to help you.
Applying as homeless
To apply as homeless you must first of all call the Housing Options Service team.
When approaching us you need to be very clear about the housing circumstances in which you find yourself.
You will be advised what will happen during the housing assessment and typically you will be asked to bring along the following:
- ID ( such as passport or birth certificate);
- Proof of your income ( such as wage slips, welfare benefit entitlements);
- Your tenancy agreement ( if you have one);
- If you are being evicted, any letters you have received from your landlord or lender, or any notification from the court;
If your homelessness application is confirmed that you meet the criteria then you and your family will be owed the ‘full’ housing duty. This means the council will find you suitable accommodation. You will be provided with accommodation until the duty comes to an end – usually the duty comes to an end when you are made a final offer of long-term accommodation. Before this happens, you might receive one or more offers of temporary accommodation.
The final offer could be an offer of council or housing association housing from the housing register, or an assured shorthold tenancy with a fixed-term of at least one year from a private landlord.
A final offer will be made in writing. It will tell you that if you turn down the accommodation the council’s duty to continue to house you might end. It will also advise you that you can ask for a review of the suitability of the offer.
How do I get owed the full duty?
For the council to owe you the full housing duty, we must be satisfied that you meet all five key points below in that you:
- (i) are homeless – under the law you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head but, for example, you do not have rights to occupy the property, or it is unreasonable for you to continue to occupy it;
- (ii) are eligible for assistance – this will mainly depend on immigration status;
- (iii) are in priority need – not everyone who is homeless has a priority need;
- (iv) have not made yourself homeless intentionally– the council will look into why you became homeless;
- (v) have a local connection with the council you are applying to – if not, we may refer you to another council.
For more explanation on the 5 points above, click here.