We work hard to prevent homelessness, and we can do this far more effectively if we have the opportunity to help sooner rather than later. Please do not wait until you are actually homeless before contacting us.
Preventing homelessness is our main priority, and there are a number of options that you can consider if you believe that you are at risk of becoming homeless.
We have specialist officers who can advise you on how to resolve specific issues that increase the risk of becoming homeless, particularly housing-related money advice, and can advise on tenancy eviction law.
The main thing is to contact us before you are made homeless – once you have been made homeless, it is much more difficult for us to help you resolve your situation.
How to contact us
In the first instance, it is best to telephone us. We will take brief details and advise you of how we propose to deal with your situation - 01543 462621
Homelessness prevention: private sector renting
An alternative to making a homeless application is considering renting accommodation through the private sector. Privately renting a property gives you, as a tenant, more control over important factors such as:
- access to services
The Housing Options Service has a number of ways to help you into privately rented accommodation, including the rent advance/ deposit guarantee scheme, and we can provide you with details of local accommodation agencies. There may be other opportunities for getting financial assistance with paying your deposit or rent in advance.
Private housing advice service
If you are a private tenant, housing association tenant or homeowner and need housing advice, our housing ooptions team can help you with a range of issues such as:
- landlord and tenant issues
- your rights to stay in your home
- housing debt such as mortgage or rent arrears
- private renting.
Homeless prevention: domestic violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help with accommodation, the housing options team is available to offer advice and assistance. Our service is completely confidential, you will be interviewed in private, we will try to ensure you are seen by an officer of the same gender as yourself and we can provide translation where needed.
If we cannot prevent you from becoming homeless or are unable to find you a new home, then we may provide you with temporary accommodation if you are in one of the following groups:
- you have dependent children
- someone in your household is expecting a child
- you are a child aged 16 or 17
- you are under 21 and have been previously ‘looked after’ or fostered between the ages of 16 and 17
- you are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness, physical disability, institutionalisation, or some other special reason
- you are homeless due to fire, flood or some other emergency.
Please remember that we are responding to a crisis situation. We therefore have to rely on using bed and breakfast hotels and properties outside of the district boundaries. Typically, these can be of a smaller size than your ideal requirement.
We realise the difficulties this can cause with schooling, employment etc., so making a homeless application should be seen as a last resort.
Remember that homelessness is not a fast track to a council tenancy. In addition to this, you will be limited to one offer of permanent accommodation.
Last Updated: 18/12/2018