Homelessness

The application process

If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, you will need to complete the online homelessness application form.

Once you have completed a homelessness 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:

he legal guidance we must follow to assess your application:

  • The legal guidance we must follow to assess your application
  • The stages of the application process
  • The type of assistance you should expect from the Council to help you prevent or relieve homelessness
  • The type of housing you should expect if we have a duty to assist you 
  • Whether we will consider providing you with temporary accommodation whilst we assess your application

At the end of this interview, we will complete a personalised housing plan for you. This will detail the actions required by you and the actions we will take to help you prevent or relieve your homelessness. Your personalised housing plan will be updated as necessary to reflect changes in your circumstances.

Assessment

During the enquiry stage of your application, your caseworker may contact you to review and update your personalised housing plan or ask you to provide additional evidence to support your application.

Please make sure you tell them about any change in circumstances immediately, as this may lead to delays in assessing your application or affect your assessment.

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

At each stage of the process, you will be advised of the decisions made on your application. Your caseworker will base their decision on: 

  • The information you provided during your interviews
  • Actions identified in your personal housing plan
  • Your evidence 
  • Information gathered from enquiries into your case

Decisions on your application will be provided to you in writing.

Firstly, we will advise whether your case is being considered under either our prevention or relief duty.

At the end of our prevention and relief duties, if you are still in need of housing, we will send you a S184 decision letter to confirm if we have a full duty to assist you with housing. 

If we have a full duty to assist 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.

If we do not have 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.