If you already have no accommodation, for example, you are sofa surfing, sleeping rough or all efforts to prevent homelessness during the 56-day prevention duty have failed, we will owe you a ‘relief duty’.
What is the relief duty?
The relief duty lasts for 56 days. It cannot usually end sooner than this.
If you have not been interviewed already, we will ask you to provide basic information through our self referral form and you will be interviewed. If we are already working with you under our prevention duty, your Personal Housing Plan will be updated and new actions may be set for you, if you become homeless.
The relief duty lasts for 56 days. Like the prevention duty, you will be expected to engage with the Council to resolve your housing situation and complete actions that we set for you. This will include looking for privately rented accommodation, and we will also be looking at accommodation for you.
During the 56 days, you must complete the tasks you are set in your Personal Housing Plan, by the deadlines given. It is important that you complete all the tasks. If you don’t engage with the Council, we can end our duty to you and you may not receive any further help. If you are staying in emergency accommodation, this may also be ended if you don’t engage with the Personal Housing Plan.
The relief duty ends when:
- We find accommodation for you – this can be in the private rented sector
- You find yourself somewhere else to live
- You refuse suitable accommodation that we offer
If we find you suitable accommodation – including a private sector tenancy – our relief duty is ended. If you refuse suitable accommodation, we will end our relief duty. If this happens you can request a review.
Under the relief duty, you will be provided with emergency accommodation (bed and breakfast) if we have reason to believe you are in ‘priority need’.
Am I in priority need?
You may be in ‘priority need’, if:
- You have a dependent child who is residing with you
- You or a member of your household is pregnant
- Your household includes a person who may be vulnerable because of old age, mental illness, physical disability or some other special reason
- You are homeless as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster
What if I don’t have a local connection to Wealden?
If you don’t have a local connection to Wealden, you will be referred to the Council where you do have a connection, when the relief duty is owed. You may be accommodated in emergency accommodation until this referral is made. The receiving Council will then decide what actions they will ask you to take and Wealden would no longer be dealing with your case.
What happens at the end of the relief duty?
If we have reason to belie you are priority need, you will remain in emergency accommodation for 56 days and will be expected to take positive actions and work with us to find a housing solution.
If our joint efforts fail, at the end of the 56 days relief duty, the Council will decide if the main housing duty is owed to you.