Risk of homelessness
If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within the next 56 days it is very important to seek advice as soon as possible. You can contact the Housing Options team on telephone number 01621-854477 8:30am-5pm (Monday to Thursday ) and 8:30am-4.30pm (Friday) to discuss your situation and/or arrange an appointment to see an adviser.
The first step will be to help you look at all possible options and work with you to develop your own Personal Housing Plan which the law now requires for anyone who may need help because of the risk of homelessness. This could include referring you to another agency for help, for example with debt advice, claiming benefits or referring you to mediation. We will also look at how we can support you to find another home by for example providing rent in advance/damage deposit bond (subject to certain criteria being met) and helping you apply to the housing register (waiting list) for homes throughout the area.
We will review your personalised housing plan on a regular basis. If you do not work with us by taking the reasonable steps in your housing plan or keeping the Council updated with any changes to your circumstances we may decide that you are no longer willing to work with us to prevent you from becoming homeless. In some cases this could mean that the Council will have no further duty to provide help, even if you do become homeless.
You will be able to ask for a review of how the Council has tried to assist you and of any decisions that we have made.
If homelessness cannot be prevented within the 56 day timescale and / or no alternative home can be found then we will make a decision as to whether the Council has a duty to make an offer of suitable accommodation to you because you have become homeless. This could be an offer of private rented accommodation and / or other housing either within or outside of the District. On the whole this duty will only apply to households who have worked with the Council on their Personalised Housing Plan, are in priority need and are not intentionally homeless (i.e. have not done something or failed to do something that has directly led to the loss of their home).