Homeless or at risk

Introduction

If you believe yourself to be at risk of losing your home you should contact Housing Options service.

They will arrange for a Housing Adviser to interview you. They will work with you to try to prevent you from becoming homeless, by:

You are likely to be asked to give us permission to contact other agencies or professionals who are involved with you as well as possibly your family or landlord.

What should I bring with me to the interview?

Try to bring anything that may help the advisor help you in the interview. For example, your tenancy agreement and any notice you may have received telling you to leave the property if you have one. You should also bring proofs of identity with you, for example a passport or driving licence.

What else can I do?

Some people will not be offered a property by Pennine Housing or a Housing Association because they are not considered able to sustain a tenancy. In such circumstances we can help to make a referral to a housing support service.

What if my homelessness cannot be prevented?

If you cannot carry on living where you are we will work with you to try and find you alternative accommodation. In some cases this may mean a referral to a hostel. We will carry out an assessment of your circumstances under Homelessness law. The homelessness assessment can take some time to complete.

We will assess the following to see what duties the Council has to you:

What if I have no-where to live whilst you are carrying out this assessment?

If we have reason to believe that you are eligible for help, actually homeless and in priority need, we will offer you interim accommodation.

We cannot usually be flexible about the interim accommodation offered and only one offer of accommodation will be made. Occasionally this may be outside the Calderdale district. You can only take a limited amount of possessions with you and no pets at all are allowed in the accommodation. There is a charge for any interim accommodation provided and you will be expected to pay this. A housing support worker from our Temporary Accommodation and Support Service will help you to claim any benefits you may be entitled to.

What happens at the end of the homelessness assessment?

When the assessment is completed, we will write to you with our decision. The letter will set out what duty if any the Council has to you. The highest level of duty the Council has, is to provide temporary accommodation until certain things happen to bring that duty to an end. The Council does not have a duty to provide or find you permanent accommodation. We will however work with you to help you to find more permanent accommodation.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

If you think our decision is wrong, you can ask for a review. To do this you should write to us within 21 days of receiving the decision letter, say that you want to request a review of the homelessness decision and tell us why. An officer who was not involved in the original decision will take a fresh look at your situation. We will notify you of the outcome within 8 weeks of receiving your request.

Temporary accommodation

If we are required to provide you with temporary accommodation, only one offer of accommodation will be made. This may be a self contained flat, a place in a hostel with some shared facilities or very occasionally, bed and breakfast accommodation.  If you do not consider this offer of accommodation suitable, you can request a review of its suitability. If you refuse the offer of temporary accommodation, the Council will have no further duty to you as a homeless person.

If we have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation and you are subsequently given Gold Band priority within the allocation scheme, this will be for a limited period and you will only be made one offer of a permanent home. This may be through the KeyChoice scheme or a direct offer by a Housing Association. We may also secure an offer of an affordable privately rented tenancy for you. Young People may be offered a nomination to a Supported Lodgings scheme.

If you refuse a reasonable offer of accommodation, the Council will no longer have a duty to you as a homeless person, Gold Band priority will be removed from your KeyChoice membership and you will be required to leave temporary accommodation.

Will I have to pay for temporary accommodation?

Anyone who is placed in temporary accommodation will have to pay for their stay there. How much you pay will depend on where you are staying.

If you are entitled to claim the local housing allowance this should help you pay the rent. The housing support staff at temporary accommodation will help you complete a housing benefit form.

What should I do with my furniture if I go into temporary accommodation?

If it seems likely that you will be offered temporary accommodation, you should try and find somewhere to store your belongings. If you are unable to make your own arrangements, the Council can arrange storage for you. There is a charge for this service, which you will be expected to pay in full. We will however make an arrangement with you to pay an affordable amount each week until the full charge has been repaid.

Getting in touch

We operate a drop in service to see a Housing Adviser. For drop in times visit Housing Options Service.

Last Updated: 15/11/2013