How we can help
The council has a duty to help people if they are at risk of losing their accommodation within 56 days, or if they are already homeless, in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act.
We aim to make sure that everyone can get free information and advice on preventing and relieving homelessness.
You can get accessible, specialist support and help whether you're homeless or worried about becoming homeless and we'll give you personalised advice based on your own circumstances.
The Homelessness Reduction Act also introduced a new Duty to Refer requiring specified public authorities in England to notify Local Housing Authorities of service users they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness in 56 days.
The council has specialist housing advisers for those experiencing rough sleeping or domestic abuse.
Help if you’re at risk of homelessness
Come to us for help as soon as you are worried about losing your accommodation. The sooner you come to us, the more we can help.
Our aim is to help you stay in your home and we can provide free advice and support. If it isn't possible for you to stay in your current home, we may be able to help you find somewhere else to live.
Everyone is different, so we need to know about your individual circumstances to find the best solution to your housing problem.
A person is threatened with homelessness if they:
- are likely to become homeless in 56 days
- have received a valid notice to quit (S21 notice)
- have received a notice that landlord requires possession of accommodation (NOSP) which expires within 56 days.
If you're threatened with homelessness and are eligible for help, we can help to prevent your homelessness.
You can be threatened with homeless for a variety of reasons. We'll talk to you about your circumstances. This will help us to understand your situation and any support and help you may need. We'll fill in a Personal Housing Plan and agree with you what you need to do and also what we need to do to help you. Over the course of your application we'll keep you up to date with what we are doing to help you. You'll also need to make sure you get in touch with us regularly to let us know what you've done from your Personal Housing Plan.
Your Personal Housing Plan will set out what the council will do to assist you to prevent you becoming homeless. We may:
- discuss the circumstances with your landlord to support you remaining at the property
- give you legal advice on your tenancy rights
- refer you to support agencies who can assist you in sustaining your tenancy
- provide specialist support for victims of domestic violence or hate crime
- consider alternative accommodation for you that may be more suitable and affordable
- negotiate an affordable repayment plan with your landlord
- support you in returning to your parental home through agreement between all parties
- assess your income and expenditure to assist in your housing options including supporting you in applying for benefits
- make a referral to our LetNCC private sector leasing scheme.
- assist you to find alternative accommodation in the private rented sector
- refer homeowners who need advice about mortgages or other financial issues to relevant agencies
- support you in contacting appropriate agencies to explore employment and training options
- help with a tenancy deposit
- reconnect you to an area where you have accommodation and support available
- refer you to appropriate supported accommodation and hostels
- •advise you about applying to the council’s Home Options scheme
- provide advice around applying for a discretionary housing payment
If we are unable to prevent you becoming homeless or find you another home, our next duty is to relieve your homelessness by assisting you in securing alternative accommodation. Follow this link to the Help if you are homeless page.
Looking for advice?
- We offer a housing advice drop in service at City Hall, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. When you visit us, please bring information that supports what you tell us, for example, proof of identity or immigration status, and any legal paperwork relating to your tenancy. It is important that you bring the relevant information with you so we can fully assess your circumstances and provide you with the correct advice
- You can call us on 0344 980 3333
- You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Please provide us with full details of your issue so that we can provide a full response
- Out of hours: If you have a housing emergency outside of office hours, an emergency out of hours service is available on 01603 412180