Homelessness assessment

The Housing Options Team has a legal duty under the Housing Act 1996 to assist you if you have nowhere to live.

The level of assistance depends upon your status but we will always provide you with advice and assistance wherever possible.

The full duty is only for those who fulfill these 5 criteria:

  1. eligibility: eligible for assistance in accordance with section 185 of the Housing Act 1996
  2. homeless: declared homeless in accordance with section 175 of the Housing Act 1996.
  3. priority need: in need of assistance as set out in Section 189 of the Housing Act 1996 (for example, a family with children, pregnant women, care leavers, or those who are vulnerable due to old age, disabilities, mental health, or domestic violence)
  4. unintentionally homeless: 'intentionality' refers to whether or not someone has done or failed to do something which was a deliberate act, the consequence of which led to the loss of their home in accordance with section 191 of the Housing Act 1996.
  5. local connection: have a local connection under Section 193 of the Housing Act 1996

The assessment process

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, contact the Housing Options Team.

A homelessness assessment involves a detailed interview to look at your circumstances. We will apply the legal criteria to check if we have a legal duty to help you.

Throughout the process, you will be asked to provide all relevant information and documents. A full investigation will be completed and a decision will be made on your application in accordance with section 184 of the Housing Act 1996.

In complex cases, the process may take several weeks. During this time if you are eligible, homeless and we have reason to believe you have a priority need, we have a duty to provide temporary accommodation.

Homelessness decision

If you are accepted as being eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless, in priority need, and having a local connection, we have a duty to house you into permanent accommodation (in accordance with section 193 of the Housing Act 1996).

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