Homelessness

The application process

Once you have completed a housing application form and have been offered an appointment to attend an interview with a Housing Options Officer, you should expect to answer questions about your situation and provide evidence of your circumstances. 

You will need to provide the correct documents at your interview.

Failure to bring the correct documents may result in us being unable to assist you. You may be requested to provide further evidence throughout the assessment period.

The interview

During our interview with you we will explain

  • the legal guidance we must follow to assess your application
  • the stages of the application process
  • the type of housing you should expect if we have a duty to assist you 
  • we may also consider whether we will provide you with temporary accommodation whilst we assess your application

At the end of this interview you will be asked if you wish to proceed with your application.

Your caseworker

If you continue with your application you will be provided with the name and contact details of your allocated caseworker who will assess and make the final decision on your case.

During the enquiry stage of your application your caseworker will not contact you unless they need to speak to you or ask you to provide additional evidence to support your application.

It is not necessary to contact your caseworker to ask about the progress of your application unless it is to advise them of a change in circumstances. They will contact you with any updates.

It normally takes between 33 and 90 days depending on the complexity of your case to complete enquiries and provide you with a final decision.

Enquiries we make on your application

You and any adult family member will be asked to provide signed consent for our enquiries to be carried out. Depending on your circumstances your caseworker may contact:

  • The Home Office
  • Your current and previous employers
  • Your current and previous landlords
  • Benefit services
  • Your children’s schools
  • Your GP and medical professionals involved in your care
  • Credit Check
  • Previous Local Authorities you have a connection with or resided in
  • The police and probation services

This list is not final and any other reasonable enquiries for the purposes of assessing your application will be carried out.

Decision

Your caseworker will base their decision on 

  • The information you provided during your interviews
  • Your evidence 
  • Information gathered from enquiries into your case

The decision on your application will be provided to you in writing. This is called a S184 letter and will advise either:

1. We have accepted a full duty to you

You will be informed that you have been registered on the homeless queue on the housing waiting list to await an offer of accommodation (this can take several years). You will be provided with temporary accommodation whilst you await your offer.

or

2. We have not accepted a full duty to assist you

The decision will explain the reasons in detail and provide you with information on how to request a review if you do not agree with how the decision has been reached. You will need to begin to find your own accommodation if you are currently in temporary accommodation.