The Housing Options team provide help and advice to keep you in your home. In addition, we also have 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 we can.
The full duty is only for those who are:
- Eligible for assistance in accordance with section 185 of the Housing Act 1996
- Homeless in accordance with section 175 of the Housing Act 1996.
- Priority Need as set out in Section 189 of the Housing Act 1996 (for example, a family with children, pregnant, vulnerable due to old age, disabilities, mental health, care leavers, domestic violence)
- Intentionality – 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.
- Local connection under Section 193 of the Housing Act 1996
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, contact the Housing Options team who will advise you about homelessness assessments.
A Homelessness Assessment involves a detailed interview to look at your circumstances and to 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 and homeless and we have reason to believe you have a priority need, we have a duty to provide temporary accommodation, if required.
Temporary accommodation during a homelessness assessment
We will provide temporary accommodation either in bed and breakfast, hostel or self-contained accommodation depending on your circumstances.
You are responsible for paying the rent or licence charges. If you are on benefits or a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. This will cover all or part of your rent but not any other charges (such as gas and electric) known as personal contributions.
Every homeless applicant will have a support worker to help them at this difficult time.
If you are accepted as being eligible for assistance, homeless, in priority need, unintentionally homeless and have a local connection, we have a duty to house you into permanent accommodation (in accordance with section 193 of the Housing Act 1996).