The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force on 3 April 2018 and means that the Council has changed the way it helps people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The main focus is to prevent homelessness by placing greater emphasis on working together with you to resolve your housing problem.
It is important that you seek help from the Council as soon as you know you may have a housing problem. The sooner you do this the better chance we have of helping you. Please contact Housing Services on 01372 732000 to arrange a Housing Options appointment.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days we will organise a Housing Options interview for you. In this interview we will carry out an assessment to identify the circumstances that caused you to become homeless or threatened with homelessness, what your housing needs are and what accommodation would be suitable, and whether you need support to remain in or find alternative accommodation.
Following this assessment, we will work with you to develop and agree a Personalised Housing Plan (PHP). This plan will set out the actions or steps that both yourself, the Council and other identified agencies will need to follow to enable you to either keep your current housing or access alternative accommodation.
If you are already homeless, or become homeless despite any actions taken during the prevention duty stage, the plan will then be focused on trying to help you to find alternative accommodation. This is known as the “relief duty” and lasts for 56 days unless ended in another way.
At this stage if we have reason to believe you are an eligible applicant who is homeless and has a priority need we may have a duty to provide you with interim temporary accommodation whilst we investigate your application.
The Council will then continue to work with you to help resolve your housing problem and we will explore the options that are appropriate to you and your household. However due to the severe shortage of social housing you will most likely be offered help to find private rented accommodation rather than be offered social housing. Please do not expect that a homeless application will lead to an offer of temporary or social housing.
If you are considered to be homeless, but not in priority need, you will not be provided with accommodation but you will be given advice and assistance on alternative housing options.
Please read the Homelessness factsheet for more detailed information