I am homeless or threatened with homelessness what can I do?
If you are homeless or think that you may be threatened with homelessness, please complete our Housing Assistance Referral Portal, to access help and advice from the Housing Options team.
If you are eligible for assistance and homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days or have received a section 21 Notice from your landlord, you will receive assistance from the Council to prevent homelessness.
If you are sleeping rough find out more about the services available here. You should also complete our Housing Assistance Referral Portal if you are able to.
Provide some information about your situation
First, you will need to provide some basic information about yourself, your household and your circumstances. This should be done as soon as possible, by completing our Housing Assistance Referral Portal.
If you are not eligible, or not homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we will provide basic housing advice. We will notify you if this is the case.
If you are eligible and threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we will owe you a ‘prevention duty‘.
What happens next?
When we have received the completed self-referral form and we believe you are at risk of homelessness, you will usually be contacted to arrange an interview, usually at the Council Offices.
What shall I bring to the interview?
You will need to bring to the interview the following information: –
- Photo ID for yourself and any other adults in the household e.g. passport or driving licence
- Birth certificates for all children in the household
- Bank statements for all adults for the last three months
- Entitlement letters for all welfare benefits received
- Wage slips for the last three months for all adults, or the last HMRC self- assessment
- Proof of address, e.g. Council Tax bill or utility bill
- Proof of homelessness, e.g. section 21 Notice or eviction letter
- Relevant medical information
- Any other paperwork relevant to why you consider yourself homeless
What happens at the interview?
You will be asked about your housing situation, the reason for your homelessness, what your housing needs are, and any support needs that you or anyone in your household might have.
You should expect the interview to last 1.5-2 hours.
We will assess your housing and support needs and agree with you what actions you must take, and the Council will take to prevent or relieve your homelessness.
Personal Housing Plans
We will create a Personal Housing Pan for you, which sets out the things you must do, to help resolve your situation. It will also include anything the Council will do. The tasks we set for you will be reasonable, but if you don’t agree with them, you can request a review.
You will be sent an email with details of how to access your Plan and complete the actions you have to take. If you don’t have an email address, you will need to create one. You can do this free of charge by going to one of the following websites:
You can access the internet free at the Council offices and at most libraries.
When you receive the email telling you that your Plan is ready, you will need to create a account on our customer portal to see your Plan and update it when you have completed the tasks we give you. Your plan will be updated regularly and new tasks may be set for you.
Find out more:
- What is the prevention duty?
- What happens if prevention fails, or I am already homeless?
- The main housing duty
Homeless households who are accommodated under an interim duty (if we have reason to believe that you may be homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority need under section 188 of the Housing Act 1996) will normally be offered bed and breakfast or short term self-contained accommodation while we fulfil our relief duty and enquiries are carried out. Find out more about our Policy on Temporary Accommodation
Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP)
SWEP applies between 1st November and 31st March when the ‘feels like’ temperature is predicted to fall to 0°C or below for one or more nights.
There are instances where the policy applies outside of these months, for example where flooding is expected due to excessive or sudden prolonged rain or very high winds.
In these situations if you are a rough sleepers who is not owed a housing duty you will be provided with emergency accommodation (subject to any risk assessment) by the Council. The type and location of any accommodation offered will depend on the availability of accommodation. The length of the placement will depend on your individual circumstances and will be decided by the Council.
Some public bodies have to refer households that are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Find out more about that duty and/or make a referral.
Out of Hours
If you have nowhere to stay tonight and the office is now shut please call our out of hours service on 0330 123 3517.